Strawberry Guava Trees
Strawberry guava trees are beautiful evergreens with shedding cinnamon brown bark and sweet smelling white flowers. Psidium littorale (formerly known as Psidium cattleianum) is self fertile and produces a heavy crop of tart red fruit each year.
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The 1-2 inch round fruits form at the end of the tree's branches and can bow them over when wet.
There are two varieties of strawberry guava plants.
'Longpipes' produces fruit that turns red when ripe.
'Lucidum' fruit turns yellow and is a bit larger and sweeter than the red form.
The trees are compact, rarely exceeding 10 feet in height. The dark green glossy leaves are packed densely onto the branches. The fruit will fall and disappear quickly into the soil if it is not picked. These qualities make this tree a wonderful privacy screen even if you don't like the fruit.
Here in Florida, the fruit ripens in late summer but the harvest is ruined by fruit flies. There is no chemical control for this pest here. The only way to protect the fruit is to bag it.
This entails tying paper bags over the tips of the branches while the fruit is still very small (before the fruit flies enter it) and securing them with twine.
This is a great deal of trouble and makes the tree look ridiculous.
We got away with enjoying the fruit of our strawberry guava for several years before the fruit flies discovered our tree. Now we just grow it as an ornamental.
It is late March and the Psidium littorale in our backyard has just set flower buds.
Strawberry guava trees are native to Columbia and Brazil.
They are self-fruitful and newly planted trees will usually come into bearing in two or three years.
Established trees are very drought tolerant. No pruning is required for fruit production. They are hardy down to 24 degrees F.
Plants grow and perform best in Florida and on the California coast. Fruit fly has not been a problem in California.
More Tasty Fruit Right This Way:
Tropical Guava Tree
The tropical guava tree, Psidium guajava
, is a large evergreen that features peeling bark, sweetly fragrant flowers and delicious fruit. The egg-shaped fruit develops a musky aroma as it ripens. In addition to being eaten fresh it is used to make jams and juices.
Pineapple Guava Tree
In addition to producing fragrant fruit and tasty flowers the pineapple guava tree is an evergreen ornamental.
The jujube tree, Zizyphus jujube
, is a 20 foot tall by 10-15 foot wide thorny, deciduous fruit tree. Clusters of small yellow flowers line its weeping branches in the spring.
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