Psidium guajava, commonly known as the Guava, is a popular fruit tree. It is evergreen, tropical, and small growing up to 10 m high. It is native to the Caribbean, Central America, and South America but now widely cultivated throughout tropical and subtropical regions around the world. It is an excellent pioneer species that can thrive at high temperature and drought conditions. The fruit can be sweet to acidic and is high in vitamin C. It is consumed raw or cooked, made into jams or used as an ingredient in desserts. The seeds are source of edible oil. The leaves can be used in cooking. The leaves and bark are used for dyeing. The wood is used for tool handles, fence posts, carpentry, and turnery.
Guava produces low drooping branches from the base and suckers from the roots. The trunk is slender, 20 cm in diameter, covered with a smooth green to red brown bark that peels off in thin flakes. Young twigs are pubescent. The leaves grow in pairs, opposite each other. The leaf blade is elliptic to oblong in shape, 5-15 cm long x 3-7 cm broad, finely pubescent and veined on the lower face, glabrous on the upper face. The flowers are white in color, about 3 cm in diameter, solitary or in 2-3 flower clusters borne at the axils of newly emerging lateral shots. The fruit is a fleshy, pyriform or ovoid berry that can weigh up to 500 g. The skin color is yellowish to orange. The flesh can be white, yellow, pink or red, sour to sweet, juicy and aromatic.
The seeds have a hard seed coat that has to be treated, or scarified, in order for water to enter the seeds so that they can sprout.
1. To scarify the seeds, nick or sand the seed coat with sandpaper.
2. Soak the seeds in water for several hours.
3. Sow the seeds in well-drained, sandy soil.
4. Cover the seeds with a layer of soil.
5. Water the seeds. The seeds germinate in 2-8 weeks. They germinate better in warm temperatures.
6. When the seedlings are a few inches tall, they can be transplanted.