Psidium guajava: Guava

Family: Myrtaceae
Common name: Guava, Common guava, Yellow guava, Apple guava, Lemon guava

Guava is one of the most commonly seen and eaten fruits in India, and not surprisingly, India is the largest producer of Guava contributing 41% of the total guava production. Guava trees are native to Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, but is currently cultivated all over the world. Guava trees grow to a height of 3-10 meters depending on the species.

The trunk grows to about 15-20 cms in diameters, and has grey or brown bark that peels off in long strips like that of the Eucalyptus tree. The leaves have a light, fruity fragrance and is green in color. Young leaves are light green, almost white in color and translucent. Flowers are white with 5 distinct petals and numerous white stamens; and very pretty.

Guava fruits are dark green initially, but turn light green and then yellow when they are fully ripe. There are many small seeds inside the flesh of the guava fruit, which could be white, pink or dark pink depending on the species.

The taste of the fruit can vary from sweet to sour; and the skin texture can vary from soft to hard, depending on the variety of the guava. Most guava fruits are eaten raw, and sold on roadsides with a sprinkling of salt or a masala mix. They are also used in making juices, jams, jellies, preserves, pulps and chutneys.

The fruit is a rich source of Vitamin C and anti-oxidants, making it a super-healthy snacking option. In fact, it contains double the amount of Vitamin C in comparison to oranges. The leaves of guava tree contain antioxidants that can clean up your skin, making it look younger and glowing with a guava leaf facial.

Guava has some medicinal uses in treatment of diabetes, obesity, fever, skin infections, heart diseases and cancer. Leaves of guava tree are used in making tea, and other beverages.

Propagation is from seeds and by grafting or layering.

Image Credits: ABSFreepic

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