Named after the Greek word for pomegranate, this genus of about 100
species of evergreen trees and shrubs, growing to 30 ft (9 m) high,
originated in Central and South America.
They are grown for their fruit and foliage.
Their simple leaves are arranged opposite one another.
The clusters of 5-petalled white flowers are usually large and are
followed by the decorative fruits.
Each fruit is a globular to pear-shaped berry with red or yellow
The fruits are mostly used to make jellies, jams and juice but are
available fresh in subtropical areas.
Cultivation: Guavas need a warm to hot climate, a protected position
and rich, moist, free-draining soil.
Tip prune for a compact shape.
Propagate from seed or cuttings, or by layering or grafting.
Medicinal Uses: In the interior of Brazil, a decoction of the bark
or of the roots is employed to treat urinary diseases, diarrhea and
dysentery. In Costa Rica, it is said to reduce varicose veins and
ulcers on the legs. A leaf decoction is taken to relieve colds and