Guava Go Time: Pinapple Guava, Zuzu’s Pedals

Pineapple Guava. Whats cool about this plant is that the flower pedals are edible, and taste like cotton candy.

Latin: : Feijoa sellowiana syn. Acca sellowiana

The fruit is a non-tropical Guava, that is thought to have a taste similar to a Pineapple. In my experience, each variety will vary, and the more common Nazemetz taste like a cross between a mint and a rose.

This plant is easy to grow, has beautiful leaves, and is hearty enough to survive the So.Cal heat, and lack of moisture.

All the Varieties are a bit different, and the ones that I grow on my property are Mammoth, Nazemetz, and Coolidge.

Here’s a list of Pineapple Guava Cultivars:

CULTIVARS

Apollo
Medium to large, oval fruit. Smooth, thin, light-green skin with blue-green surface bloom, subject to bruising and purpling. Pulp well-developed, slightly gritty. Flavor very pleasant, quality excellent. Ripens mid to late-season. Tree upright and spreading, to 8 ft. tall, vigorous and productive. Self-fertile, and will pollinate Gemini.

Choiceana
Originated in Australia. Small to medium-sized, round to oval fruit, 2 to 3-1/2 inches long. Skin fairly smooth. Flavor and quality good. Ripens in midseason. Tree moderately vigorous, spreading. Almost or always, but not less than 42% self-fertile.

Coolidge
Originated in Australia prior to 1908. Small to medium-sized fruit, 4 or more inches in length and 2-1/2 inches in diameter. Form pyriform to oblong or elongated. Skin somewhat wrinkled. Flavor mild, indifferent quality. Tree upright and strong growing, a reliable and heavy bearer, 100% self-fertile. The most widely planted cultivar in California.
Edenvale Improved Coolidge

Originated in Santa Cruz, Calif. by Frank Serpa of Edenvale Nurseries. Large, oblong fruit of very good to excellent flavor and quality. Ripens in October. Tree slow growing. Self-fertile, precocious and productive. Grows best in climates similar to cool, coastal ares of southern California.

Edenvale Late
From Edenvale Nurseries. Mediuim-sized, oblong fruit of very good to excellent flavor and quality. Ripens late, in January,and over a long period of time. Tree slow growing. Self-fertile, very productive. Grows best in climates similar to cool, coastal areas of southern California.

Edenvale Supreme
From Edenvale Nurseries. Medium-sized, oblong fruit of very good to excellent flavor and quality. Ripens in November. Best eaten soon after harvest. Tree slow growing. Self-fertile, precocious and productive. Grows best in climates similar to cool, coastal areas of southern California.

Gemini
Fruit small to medium, egg-shaped. Skin very smooth, thin, dark green with a heavy bloom. Flavor and texture excellent. Ripens in early autumn, earlier than Apollo. Tree upright, spreading, to 8 ft tall. Moderately vigorous, high yielding, partially self-fruitful, but cross pollination is recommended for best fruit quality.

Mammoth
Selected in New Zealand from seedlings of the Choiceana. Large, round to oval fruit, to 8-1/2 ounces, resembling Coolidge. Skin thick, somewhat wrinkled. Flesh somewhat gritty, quality and flavor very good. Matures early in midseason. Softer and not as good a shipper as Triumph. Tree of upright habit, to 10 ft. tall, strong growing. Self-fertile, but bears larger fruit, with cross-pollination.

Moore
Large, flavorsome fruit. Ripens in midseason. Very vigorous plant. Recommended for California.

Nazemetz
Originated in San Diego, Calif. by Alexander Nazemetz. Large, pear-shaped fruit, averaging 3 ounce in weight. Side walls moderately thin. Pulp translucent and sweet. Flavor and quality excellent. Ripens in late October to mid-December. Unlike that of many other cultivars, the pulp of Nazemetz does not darken after being cut or as it ripens, but retains its clear color. Tree self-fertile, but bears most heavily when cross-pollinated. Good pollinator for Trask.

Pineapple Gem
Originated in Azusa, Calif. by Monrovia Nursery. Small, round fruit of good to very good quality. Mid to late season ripening. Tree self-fruitful but bears heavier crops if pollinated. Does poorly under cool, coastal conditions.

Trask
Originated as a bud sport of Coolidge. Medium to large, oblong fruit, up to 3-1/2 inches long and weighing 3 to 5 ounces. Rough, dark green skin. Shells thicker and grittier than Coolidge. Flavor and quality good to very good. Ripens early. Tree self-fertile, but most productive when cross-pollinated. Precocious. Ideal pollinator for Nazemetz.

Triumph
Selected in New Zealand from seedlings of the Choiceana cultivar. Short, oval, plump fruits., not pointed as those of Coolidge, medium to large. Skin uneven but firm. Flesh somewhat gritty but with good seed to pulp ratio. Excellent sharp flavor. Ripens to midseason. Tree upright, of medium vigor. Bears heavily if pollinated. Good pollinator for Mammoth.

This is considered a “Non-Tropical” Guava, and falls in a similar category as other Non-Tropical Guavas such as Strawberry Guava & Lemon Guava.

If you live in Southern California, then go for the Tropical Guavas!

You might like the ability to eat the flower pedals of the Pineapple Guava, but the size of these fruit are very small, and most of them need a pollinator, which means you need to buy 2 different varieties of Pineapple Guava to get an abundance of fruit.

These guys look like Guavas when you crack them open, but do not have that “Tropical” or “Hawaiian Punch” knock-out flavor.

That Starburst style burst of Guava flavor is not present in any of the Pineapple, Lemon, or Strawberry Non-Tropical Guavas.

But if you wanna munch on some flower pedals during a nice spring day in April, then a Pineapple Guava could fit the bill.

And the flowers are sure perdy….

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6 thoughts on “Guava Go Time: Pinapple Guava, Zuzu’s Pedals

  1. We have a pinapple guave about 7 years old and it is growing almost sideways. It has abundant flowers but we have never had fruit. It may need a polinator.

    What can you tell us about it?

    Thanks,
    Dick Hirsch
    dickhirsch@gmail.com

    • Dear Mr. Hirsch,

      Thank you so much for your interest in my blog, and Pineapple Guava.

      Sounds like you have a 7 year old Pineapple Guava plant yearning to bear some tasty, sweet, and aromatic Pineapple Guavas!

      First, we need to know what “variety” of Pineapple Guava you have ? (if possible)

      This is a good starting point, because it is clear to me that at least (1) of (2) scenarios have occurred, which has prevented your Guava from bearing delicious fruit:

      1) You do not have enough Chill Hours.

      All Fruits need a period of gestation where they can hibernate, and take in all the nutrients available, absorb, assimilate, and covert these life forces into something it can to build itself up in the coming WINTER period, or gestation. This period often is in the winter, but depending where you live it can vary.

      They key to this period is “chill-hours’.” A plant needs a certain amount of hours throughout the year that are below a certain temperature, in order to signal it to go into this period of dormancy, which in Chinese Medicine is considered the “Water Element”, or a period of “Storage.”

      During this period, it will rebuild itself and utilize all it’s building blocks and magic, so it can pro-create in the spring-time, and bear fruit.

      So first question is, did your climate produce enough chill hours this year for your plant to get the signal it needs.

      All Fruit Trees have a Chill Hour Requirement.
      If you are in Southern California, and in the Ventura area, we have microclimates. The chill hours we receive here could be as high as 600 – 800 hours in Woodland Hills, California, but only 400 Hours in Reseda, California,. It can vary.

      So call your Local Nursery, or go on-line and find out how many chill-hours your specific location gets.

      2) You do not have a “Self-Pollinating” Variety of Pineapple Guava

      Dick, this is most likely the case. As with ALL fruit, and in the majority of Pineapple Guava varieties, you need a 2nd Variety of Pineapple Guava within close proximity to the 1st Pineapple Guava to allow for “cross-pollination.”

      If you find out what “variety” of Pineapple Guava you currently have, this would be highly valuable, as certain varieties have higher compatible with other varieties in “cross-pollination.”

      Some fruit trees are “sold” as “self-pollinating”, which means they do not require a pollinator, or 2nd plant.

      I find that with Pineapple Guavas, it’s always best to have at least (2) varieties.

      You could always “hand-pollinate” what you have, but no reason to make it difficult.

      The variety you purchase would largely depend on what variety you have, as some varieties LOVE other varieties, and you end up getting LARGER FRUIT, and A HIGHER YIELD of fruit, if you choose the correct “pollinator.”

      Please find out:
      1) Chill-Hours
      2) What Variety of Pineapple Guava you have

      Please let me know so you can start enjoying your delicious Pineapple Guavas!

      And if you’re in the area where my office is, (Westlake Village, CA), please feel free to visit sometime!

      Cheers,

      D. Siena
      Doctor of Acupuncture (D.Ac.)

      • Well, I have been able to acquire two more young guava trees from a nursery in the Panhandle, though the nursery didn’t know what variety they are.

        As regards “Chill hours” the nurseries here never heard the term, but the last two winters, in late January and early February we have been getting nights below freezing.

        My question at the moment is I have noticed on my established pineapple guava the underside of the leaves have a lot of black spots. Any idea what that might be and how I should treat it?

        Thanks for your help.

        Dick Hirsch

      • Dick,
        Chill hours do exist — I can assure you. If they have never heard of chill hours, perhaps they are not a nursery.

        In terms of your black spot issue — there are many fungi and various other pathogens that can attack plants, specific to your area, and the variety of plant you have. I cannot diagnose what the pathogen is just based on your description.

        I suggest you deal with Pine Nursery, who is in Florida, and have experience with exotics. However, Pineapple Guava is not considered an exotic plant in contrast to Tropical Guava — they are two different fruits.

        You best bet is to find a genuine nursery who has heard of chill hours.

        Good Luck!

  2. Thanks for your prompt reply. Unfortunately the tree was here when we arrived three years ago, so I don’t know what kind of guava it is. The flowers (it’s in bloom now, profusely) are just like the ones in your photos. What about the serious lean it has? I noticed in some of your descriptions you note the tree grows upright, which suggests to me that some of them do grow sideways. Is this a problem for the tree?

    We live in Homosassa in Citrus County, Florida, so while we do get some chilly weather in January/February (in the mid 20s at night) I suspect we do not have the concentrated chilly hours you suggest.

    If I can’t find out the variety I have, what is the best plant for this tree?
    And can I purchase it by mail?

    Thanks for your help.
    Dick Hirsch

    • Mr. Hirsch,

      Sorry for the delayed reply, as I had hoped my previous detailed reply would address much of your issue.

      1) The Lean doesn’t matter – not an issue. Simply get a pole or stick,
      place it next the plant, anchoring it in the adjacent soil.
      Wrap some tape around both of them together to promote straight
      growth.

      2) Pineapple Guavas can certainly grow in Florida to my knowledge.

      3) Are you certain this is actually a Pineapple Guava ?

      3) As a pollinator, purchase a Nazemetz, Coolidge, or Mammoth
      Pineapple Guava. Plant it within close proximity to what you are
      guessing is a Pineapple Guava.

      4) Yes, Pineapple Guavas can be purchased through the mail.
      But being in Florida, there are many Nurseries local to you I
      would guess that have this type of Fruit Plant.

      One Nursery in Florida: (They ship through the mail, as far as I know.)

      Pine Island Nursery
      http://www.tropicalfruitnursery.com

      Good Luck with your Fruit Tree adventures!

      Cheers,

      D. Siena

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