Feijoa sellowiana (Acca sellowiana). PINEAPPLE GUAVA. South America
MYRTACEAE (Myrtle family)

This

rather striking small tree or large shrub exhibits two contrasting tones of green, being silvery underneath the leaves, and in late spring adds an accent of bright red flowers. The flower gets its effect from its bunch of long stiff stamens as also do the related eucalypts, which have learned to dispense entirely with petals as a means of attracting pollinators. In the case of Feijoa, the petals are succulent and may be eaten. Later in the fall the gray-green oval pineapple-flavored 'guavas' ripen. There are many on campus, including two about 12 feet tall at 591 Salvatierra Street, and a tall one at 743 Cooksey Lane; three or four were being clipped as a low hedge on Abbott Way at Rogers House prior to its relocation to 581 Capistrano Way as part of the Munger Project. Several can be seen at Rains Houses to each side of the Hacienda Commons. There are others near Stern Hall and also at the Bing Nursery School, the latter pruned as a large hedge. The time to locate them by their flowers is early June.

To get ripe fruit, pick it up from the ground, or shake the tree. Even then you may need to keep the fruit on a sunny window-sill before eating it. Squirrels do not have the necessary patience and leave prematurely picked fruit on top of our fence. Feijoas are rich in vitamin C and make a good addition to a fruit salad. The plant was named for da Silva Feijo, an 18th century Spanish naturalist. For more information visit http://fruitsandnuts.ucdavis.edu/.

Illustration: McMinn, Howard E. and Evelyn Maino. 1951. An illustrated manual of Pacific coast trees; with lists of trees recommended for various uses on the Pacific coast by H. W. Shepherd. 2d ed. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press.

Illustrations (links open new windows): habit | flower 11/19/03 | branchlet and fruit | fruit

Additions/Revisions:

Name derivation, genus | species da Silva Feijo, an 18th century Spanish naturalist | Friedrich Sellow (1789-1831), German botanist who collected in South America

Acca: Peruvian name

Related material: Canopy Trees for Palo Alto Tree Library

Botanical name index | Common name index | Family
Trees.Stanford.edu home