Psidium guajava, often called “tropical guava” or simply “guava,” has become naturalized in tropical and subtropical regions throughout the world.
Though its place of origin is uncertain, scientists believe the fruit came from southern Mexico or Central America. Guava was first introduced to Hawaii in the early 1800s and brought to Florida in 1847.
Fruit grows on single or multitrunked trees that can reach up to 20 feet in height. Similar to apples and pears, guava fruit is round or oval-shaped with green, yellow, or slightly pink skin. Fruit contains small, hard seeds and has a fragrant, flowery aroma and bold flavor, ranging from sweet to slightly tart.
Depending on variety, guava flesh is either soft or slightly crunchy when ripe and may be creamy white to dark pink in color. When fully ripe, its thin skin is edible.
Most guava is consumed fresh or processed into juice, purees, dried fruit, ice cream, or nutrient powders.
Types & Varieties
Numerous varieties are grown throughout Mexico, India, Southeast Asia, and the United States. Each may vary in color, flavor, texture, size, and seediness.
Two of the earliest American-grown guava varieties were the Detwiler and the Redland; current varieties include Barbi Pink, Blitch, Hong Kong Pink, Mexican Cream, Patillo, Red Indian, Ruby X Supreme, and Webber.