Catching the fleeting scenes of many splendored life with a camera.
'Look closely. The beautiful may be small' — Kant

21 February 2012

Flowering Trees. Pineapple Guava (Feijoa sellowiana)

Aka Acca sellowiana (Genus: Feijoa), feijoa, pineapple guava and guavasteen is a small slow-growing tender evergreen perennial tree with thick grey-green leaves and pink-white flowers with fleshy petals and red star-burst stamens that grow into exquisite edible fruits.

The Plant loves moist, humus-rich soil and sun or part shade. It doesn’t like cold or too wet and is drought resistant once established (although lack of water will cause fruit to drop). It belongs to the myrtle family, Myrtaceae, and is native to the highlands of southern Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay, and northern Argentina.

The German botanist Otto Karl Berg named feijoa after João da Silva Feijó, a Portuguese botanist born in the colony of Brazil. The green ellipsoid chicken-egg size fruit matures in autumn. It has a sweet, aromatic flavour and juicy flesh divided into a clear gelatinous seed pulp and a firmer, slightly granular, opaque flesh nearer the skin — its gritty texture resembles the closely related guava. The fruit drops when ripe and at its fullest flavour, but may be picked from the tree to prevent bruising. Feijoa fruit has a distinctive, potent aroma due to the ester methyl benzoate and related compounds it contains.

I stumbled upon the trees by chance while strolling in the local park and took pictures of these beautiful flowers. I was thrilled to discover it was feijoa — I hadn't tasted the fruit in a long time (a rare and expensive treat here), so in the autumn we rushed to reap what we hadn't sown and were rewarded with a succulent organic crop for free.

Pineapple guava, Feijoa sellowiana flowers
Pineapple guava, Feijoa sellowiana flowers
(© 2011 LightColourShade. All rights reserved)

Pineapple guava, Feijoa sellowiana flowers close-up
Pineapple guava, Feijoa sellowiana flowers close-up
(© 2011 LightColourShade. All rights reserved)

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