Glorious Guava

Guava is a beautiful tropical fruit that is indigenous to the American Tropics. Florida is able to successfully grow many tropical fruits like guava because of our warm subtropical and tropical climate. Guava can be grown in Central Florida and South Florida. There are three different types of guava, red and pink-fleshed, white-fleshed, and yellow-fleshed. Of these three types, only two grow well in Florida: red and pink-fleshed and white-fleshed. Within these types of guava, the best varieties to grow in Florida are Mexican Cream, Homestead, and Red Indian. Guava is great because it is an easy tree to grow in Florida. This tree grows so easily that it can even be found growing wild in some parts of our amazing state!

Guava is a yummy and healthy fruit! The Mexican Cream variety has a sweet aroma and creamy white flesh. The Homestead variety is known to be more mild, acidic, and lacking fragrance. The Red Indian variety is intensely sweet and seedier than the others. Guava is packed with vitamin C, vitamin A, folate, potassium, and fiber. Surprisingly, one guava contains about four times the amount of vitamin C than what is in one orange! Eating more fruits like guava help in preventing heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure.

While guava can be produced year-round, Florida’s main seasons are from August to October and February to March. When picking out the perfect guava it is important to know that red and pink-fleshed types should be eaten ripe, but the white-fleshed types can be eaten when they are still firm. When ripening, guava will become softer and the skin from the white-fleshed types will turn from green to yellow-green and the red and pink-fleshed types will turn from light pink to dark pink or red. Guava can be eaten fresh, made into guava paste, or used in fruit salads, pastries, jellies, and beverages. This sweet fruit also pairs well with different meats by making a sauce out of it and adding other components like garlic and ginger.

For your enjoyment, try out a guava recipe courtesy of Fresh From Florida! 

Did You Know?
• The lifespan of a guava plant is 40 years!
• Young guava leaves can be boiled to make tea for cleansing wounds.
• In the United States, guava is grown commercially in Florida, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii.
• Guava trees were introduced to South Florida in the 1800’s.
• Guava is considered an invasive plant.
• To speed up the ripening process, you can store guava in a paper bag with a banana or an apple!

Content courtesy of Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumers Services, UF/IFAS, and Fresh From Florida.

Information compiled by: Avianna Liuzzo

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