Pineapple Guava- Feijoa sellowiana

August 31st, 2009


Feijoa's lovely foliage

This is a great multi-purpose plant. Feijoa are native to South America and are considered sub-tropical fruit trees. They are well adapted to the California climate, enjoying heat and tolerating occasional cold snaps. They also need very little water once established. You have probably seen this pretty plant all over the place and never realized that it bears delicious, edible fruit.

I’d say the appearance of feijoa is like a cross between an olive tree and a madrone. They fit well into mediterranean landscapes, cottage gardens and many other garden styles. They have blue-grey leaves and pretty bark that peels off in a decorative manner. The color of the bark and leaves pairs well with blue agave or other  blue-grey succulents. They can be trained as either a bush  or as a tree. So versatile! I have several planted together to form a hedge in my backyard.  I also know of some in the neighborhood that have been trained as trees. They only get about 20 feet high at the most, making them a nice small landscape tree. They are not going to take over your garden or swallow your house. Rather, they are a perfect little tree to complement or define a space.

The fruit are harvested after they fall from the tree. This makes it easy for those who are unsure about when to pick fruit. I simply lay a sheet under the tree at harvest time and collect my bounty with ease. The fruit is sweet with a little tropical flavor- thus the common name of pineapple guava.

This is perhaps my favorite edible ornamental plant. It is easy to grow, needs little water, makes great fruit and its pretty. A winner all around.

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2 comments on “Pineapple Guava- Feijoa sellowiana”

  1. Hermann Cloete says:

    I’ve just planted a pineapple guava in my orchard on my farm in Namibia/South West Africa. I’ve ordered more trees and look forward to see the first blossoms. The tree is about a meter high now. How long does it take to bear the first fruit?
    Thanks!

    Hermann

  2. Lora says:

    If your tree is about a meter high, I think you can expect a few fruits this season. It may be just five or six, but it is still pretty exciting. I planted some that are trained as bushes (as opposed to a single trunked tree) and they are about that size now. I had a half dozen or so fruits on each plant last year and expect many more this year. Plus they are growing into a nice hedge to block out a neighbor’s ugly fence.

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