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Psidium guajava - L.

Common Name Guava, Tropical Guava, Goiaba, Araçá-goiaba
Family Myrtaceae
USDA hardiness 9-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Common in disturbed places often forming thickets in pastures, plantations and other similar habitats in the Pacific Islands[311 ].
Range S. America from Peru north to Mexico and the Caribbean.
Edibility Rating    (5 of 5)
Other Uses    (5 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Full sun
Psidium guajava Guava, Tropical Guava, Goiaba, Araçá-goiaba

Psidium guajava Guava, Tropical Guava, Goiaba, Araçá-goiaba


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Psidium guajava or commonly known as Guava is a popular fruit tree. It is evergreen, tropical, and small growing only 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. Guava has a wide range of medicinal uses. In particular, it has antibacterial properties, an astringent, anti-inflammatory, and anti-diabetic. It is used against dysentery, diarrhea, hepatitis, gonorrhea, coughs, stomach pain, skin problems, ringworms, wounds, and ulcers. 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. However, it is best used as firewood and charcoal. It is resistant to insect and fungal attack. Guava can be propagated by seeds but growth rate is slow. The most common and ideal method is through cuttings and grafting.

Physical Characteristics

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Psidium guajava is an evergreen Tree growing to 10 m (32ft) by 10 m (32ft) at a medium rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10. The flowers are pollinated by Bees. The plant is self-fertile.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid and neutral soils and can grow in very acid and saline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil and can tolerate drought.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Guajava pyrifera (L.) Kuntze Guajava pyriformis Gaertn. Myrtus guajava (L.) Kuntze Psidium aromaticu

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit  Leaves  Oil  Seed
Edible Uses: Oil  Pectin

Fruit - raw or cooked. The flavour can range from sweet to acidic[296 ]. A soft fleshy pulp with a delicious aromatic flavour[296 , 303 ]. Very high in vitamin C, it is also a good source of vitamin A and pectin[296 , 303 ]. The fruit makes a very nice jam and can also be pureed then added to a range of desserts[296 ]. The yellow-skinned fruit can be ovoid or pear shaped, is 4 - 12cm in diameter and can weigh up to 500g[303 ] An edible oil is obtained from the seeds[301 ]. In some Asian countries such as Indonesia, the leaves are used in cooking[303 ].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

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Antibacterial  Antidiarrhoeal  Antiinflammatory  Antispasmodic  Antitussive  Astringent  Dysentery  Febrifuge  
Hypoglycaemic  Mouthwash  Parasiticide  Skin  Vitamin C  Vulnerary

A decoction of the plant is antispasmodic, astringent, febrifuge and vulnerary[272 ]. Guava exhibits antibacterial action against intestinal pathogens such as Staphylococcus[303 ]. All parts of the young fruit are astringent[303 ]. The dried ripe fruits are recommended as a remedy for dysentery, while the leaves and fruits are used as a cure for diarrhoea[303 ]. The ripe, fresh fruit is eaten as a cure for constipation[311 ]. Water from soaking the fruit is good to treat diabetes[303 ]. The clear fruit juice has been recommended as a treatment for hepatitis, gonorrhoea, and diarrhoea[303 ]. The oil from the seed contains bisabolene and flavonoids that exhibit anti-inflammatory properties[303 ]. Compounds in the leaves have shown antidiabetic activity[311 ]. The leaves are used as a treatment for diarrhoea, coughs, stomach ache and dysentery [307 , 311 ]. The leaves are pounded, squeezed in salt water and the solution is used to treat toothaches[311 ]. A decoction of the leaves or bark is taken externally as a lotion for skin complaints, ringworm, wounds, and ulcers[303 ]. The bark, mixed with the roots of Achyranthes aspera and Urena lobata, is used to treat diarrhoea and dysentery[272 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Charcoal  Dye  Essential  Fencing  Fuel  Insecticide  Oil  Parasiticide  Pectin  Pioneer  Tannin  Teeth  Wood

Backyard tree. Courtyard. Specimen. Small shade tree. Large bright conservatory. Agroforestry Uses: A popular fruit crop with many other uses, the plant succeeds in full sun and quickly establishes itself in pastures etc; it is an excellent pioneer species for use in permaculture when establishing woodland gardens[K ]. The plant has been identified as useful for bio-indication and as a bio-accumulator in India. It is sensitive to sulphur dioxide[303 ]. Other Uses The leaves and bark may be used for dyeing and tanning[272 , 303 ]. The leaves are pounded with coconut milk and other substances to make a dye that turns silk black[307 ]. The leaves are the source of an essential oil that contains methylchavicol, persein and d-pinene[303 ]. The plant has insecticidal properties[303 ]. The heartwood is brown or reddish; the sapwood light brown. The wood is hard, moderately heavy, moderately strong, very elastic and moderately durable. It is used for tool handles, fence posts and in carpentry and turnery[303 , 419 ]. The wood makes excellent firewood and charcoal, at least in part because of its abundance, natural propagation, and classification as an undesirable weed[303 ].

Special Uses

Food Forest

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

The guava is a hardy tree that adapts to a wide range of growing conditions from the humid lowland tropics to the cooler elevations, fruiting at elevations up to 1,500 metres and surviving as high as 2,000 metres[200 , 303 ]. It can stand a wide range of temperatures; the highest yields are recorded at mean temperatures of 23 - 28°c, whilst in the subtropics quiescent trees can withstand light frost, and 3.5 - 6 months (depending on the cultivar) of mean temperatures above 16°c are sufficient for flowering and fruiting[303 ]. When dormant, the plant can survive temperatures down to about -5°c, but young growth can be severely damaged at -1°c[418 ]. It can also tolerate low to moderate rainfall levels though, for good fruiting, it requires at least 1,000mm per annum with a clear dry period to allow its fruit to ripen[200 ]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,000 - 3,000mm, but can tolerate 400 - 5,000mm[418 ]. For maximum production in the tropics it requires rainfall distributed over the year[303 ]. If fruit ripens during a very wet period it loses flavour and may split[303 ]. Prefers a fertile, moisture-retentive soil and a sunny position[307 ]. Plants are tolerant of a range of soil conditions[200 ]. Moderately tolerant of saline soils[404 ]. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 - 7.5, tolerating 4 - 8.5[418 ]. The plant is more drought-resistant than most tropical fruit crops[303 ]. The guava often escapes from cultivation and is considered a noxious weed in many tropical pasture lands - its proliferation may result in the abandonment of a pasture[303 ]. There are many named varieties, selected for their superior fruit forms[301 ]. Plants have some deep roots, but do not form a taproot[303 ]. The trees flower all year round[307 ]. Seedlings may flower within 2 years; clonally propagated trees often begin to bear during the first year after planting[303 ]. Trees reach full bearing after 5 - 8 years, depending on growing conditions and spacing[303 ]. The guava is not a long-lived tree (about 40 years), but the plants may bear heavily for 15 - 25 years[303 ]. Average yields are between 30 - 40 kg/plant in 5 year-old plants and will reach a maximum production of 50 - 70 kg at about 7 years if well managed[303 ]. Flowering Time: Late Spring/Early Summer. Bloom Color: White/Near White. Spacing: 20-30 ft. (6-9 m).

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

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Plant Propagation

Seed - very easy, plants will often self-sow very freely[296 ]. Seedlings tend to be true to their parents and can fruit within 3 years of germinating[296 ]. Seed can be sown in beds, pots or directly in the field at a depth of 1 cm; germination occurs within 15 - 20 days[303 ]. They should be planted out when about 25 cm high[303 ]. Air-layering. Cuttings. Grafting.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Amapeera, Amba, Amrood, Araca, Arasa, Araza, Bak sidaa noi, Balabas, Banjirou, Bayabas, Bayawas, Emagwava, Fan shi liu gan, Farang, Goyave, Goyavier, Goybe, Guajaba, Guajabo, Guajavenbaum, Guayaba blanca, Guyaba, Jambu batu, Jambu berasa, Jambu biabas, Jambu biji, Jambu biyawas, Jambu klutuk, Jambu makan, Jambu padang, Kambu merabas, Kattukoyya, Kuava, Kuawa, Libas, Ligwava, Madhurium, Mapela, Mapun, Mguwa, Mpera, Mubera, Mupeera, Oi, Piyara, Quwawa, Ribas, Sahuintu, Seytuun, Te kuao, Te kuawa, Yam anseeta, aambak, abas, aduoba, agua, aguoba, aguwa, aguwo, amasi, amba, ambaru, ambhok, amrood, amrud, amrut, amruta-phalam, apple guava, araca-goiba, arasa, arazá puitá, araçá uaçu, araçá-goiaba, araçá-guaçú, banjiro, banjiro, banziro, belauki, belauti, bidji, bihi, bilauti, borimak, bugoyab, buyaki, coloc, common guava, cen lan, dijamboé, djamboe folium, djamboé, djambu bidji, djambu klutuk, eguabe, fa-rang, folium guavae, gavoala, gavobe, goa, goavy, goba, goejaba, goiaba, goiabeira, goiabeira-vermelha goiabeiro, gouyav, gouyavier, gow,a goyav, goyave, goyavier, goyya, grosse gelbe, gua, guabang, guafa, guaiaba, guaiava, guajave, guava,guava leaf, guava tree, guava|pera, guave, guavenbaum, guayaba, guayaba cak, guayaba colorada, guayaba de gusano, guayaba de venado, guayaba del monte, guayaba del peru, guayaba peruana, guayaba, hoja, guayabacotorrera, guayabe, guayabero, guayabo, guayabo agrio, guayabo amarillo, guayaboblanco, guayava, guayave, guayavebaum, guega, gujava, guyaba, gwaabaa, gwawa hind armudu, ipera, jaama, jamba, jambu biji, kautonga, kirim, kiswahili, koejawel, koyhab (tupi), koyya, krue, kuabas, kuahpa, kuava, kuawa, kuiaba, kuliabas, ku’ava, lambu, latam, lattam, lemon guava, lupro, mabera, maduriam, manssla, mbera, motiram, mpera, mugwavha, mù guó, ngoaba, nulu, oguawa, pat’a, perala, perodelle indie, peyara, posh, psidii pyriferi folium, psidio, psidium, punjo, quwawa, sari guafa, sigra, sikra, tuava, ugwoba, warakel-guafa, wariafa, waríafa, woba, xalxoctl, yellow guava.

NORTHERN AMERICA: Mexico, Chihuahua, Coahuila de Zaragoza, Durango, Nuevo León, San Luis Potosí, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tamaulipas, Zacatecas, Baja California Sur, Campeche, Chiapas, Colima, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Jalisco, México, Michoacán de Ocampo, Morelos, Nayarit, Oaxaca, Puebla, Querétaro, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave, Yucatán, SOUTHERN AMERICA: Hispaniola, Anguilla, Netherlands Antilles, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Cuba, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Montserrat, Martinique, Trinidad and Tobago, United States, Puerto Rico, St. Vincent and Grenadines, Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, Venezuela, Brazil (southeast), Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina (north), Paraguay,

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

The guava often escapes from cultivation and is considered a noxious weed in many tropical pasture lands - its proliferation may result in the abandonment of a pasture[303 ].

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Psidium cattleianumStrawberry GuavaShrub6.0 9-12  LMNDM333
Psidium cattleianum littoraleYellow Strawberry GuavaShrub6.0 9-11  LMNDM303

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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