Guava plant (Psidium guajava)

Characteristics, composition and uses of guava

CHARACTERISTICS OF GUAVA

English common name: guava.

Botanical classification
Kingdom Plantae - Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta
Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta
Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta
Flower plants
Class Magnoliopsida
Dicotyledonous
Subclass Rosidae
Order Myrtales
Family Myrtaceae
Subfamily Myrtoideae
Tribe Myrteae
Gender Psidium
Species Psidium guajava

Common name in other languages:

- Spanish: guayaba (fruta), guayabo (árbol). Perulera, guayaba dulce, guayaba manzana, guayabo de venado, jalocote.

- French. goyave, goyavier
- Dutch: Guyaba, Goeajaaba
- Surinamese: guave, goejaba
- Portuguese: guava, goaibeira
- Hawaii: Kuawa
- Malaysia: guava, jambu batu
- India: bayabas
- Mexico, Central and South America: various vernacular names are used for this fruit, as pichi, posh or enandi.

Scientific name: Psidium guajava L.

Other taxonomic designations:
- Guaiava pyriformis Gaertn.
- Myrtus guajava (L.) Kuntze.

Family: Myrtaceae

Origin: Native plant in Mesoamerica and tropical America.

Habitat: found wild in tropical America. It grows at altitudes from 0 to 1,500. above the sea level. It can be found in other tropical and subtropical areas of the world due to natural dispersal by birds and humans. It has become naturalized in many Pacific islands and tropical or subtropical areas where there is no frost.

Distribution: Where to find guava plants?

South Florida, Mexico, Central America, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Brazil, Peru, Caribbean, Hawaii, Caribbean.

The Spanish colonizers exported it outside the Americas.

It came to Asia in 1526, and currently it is an important crop in India and China. U.S.

It has been spread in California, Egypt, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Fiji, and also in South Africa.

Characteristics of guava tree

guava
Guava drawing, with the fruit, leaves and a flower

Guava (Psidium guajava) is an evergreen fruit tree, between 3 and 6m up. (Up to 10m.). In nontropical climates, guava is a deciduous tree.

The guava fruit thereof, is surely one of the best known Myrtaceae fruits. They belong to the same family of allspice (Pimienta dioica), which is used in food as a type of pepper, eucalyptus, cloves or guarapurú or jaboticaba (Myrciaria cauliflora) that produces the fruit ibapurú.

The stem is thick, usually inclined and branched into several branches, drawing an open crown, irregular, with dense quadrangular twigs. It has a thin bark, cream colored with pink spots, which is easily removed in long strips.

The leaves are simple, with short petioles, oblong or elliptical, 3 to 16cm. long by 3-6 wide, bright green. Limbo bright pubescent undersides of leaves with prominent veins. The leaves have entire margins, oil-bearing glands that release a pleasant fragrance. This is a common feature in all plants of the Myrtaceae family.

The inflorescences are cymes, or sometimes solitary flowers (1 to 3 flowers) that grow in the leaf axils.

The flowers are large, stalked (1-2cm.), actinomorphic, showy, with white petals, giving off a pleasant smell. They are hermaphrodites, possessing numerous stamens and one pistil. The flowers are pollinated by insects such as bees, which feed on nectar, so it is a honey plant.

This tropical tree is in bloom throughout the year. In subtropical climates, it blooms from March to September.

The fruits are globose berries, sometimes ovoid, measuring between 4-15cm. long by 4-8cm. in diameter. Calyx persistent at the apex. Fruits are aromatic, bittersweet, and the pulp is viscous.

Inside they contain numerous seeds, tiny, yellowish 3 to 5mm. long. The fruit is dispersed by animals following ingestion and excretion, birds, turtles, pigs, rats, monkeys, cattle, etc..

It is a long-lived tree, that can live between 30 and 50 years, although is no longer productive when older that 15.

Used parts of guava plant

  • Fruit: It is also known as guava. It is nutritionally important for being a fruit rich in vitamin C and carotene. White Guavas contain more vitamin C than pink. AS food, it is consumed fresh, whole, in juices or shakes. You can also eat it cooked, in which case it has a milder flavor, in jams, preserves, jellies, syrups, cakes, etc..

    * More information of guava food.

  • Leaves: They produce a black dye used for dyeing silk and cotton.

  • Wood: It is reddish yellow, being used to make handicrafts and turnery (handles, cutlery, combs, etc..). It can also be used for firewood and charcoal. The bark is used for tanning leather, because of its high tannin content (1030% in cortex).

  • Medicinal: Guava roots, leaves and fruits are used medicinally since antiquity. Mainly for its astringent tannin content. The roots and leaves are used to treat dysentery and diarrhea. The fruits are rich in vitamins.

* More information about the medicinal properties of guava.

Guava composition

* For the Nutritional Value of Guava (fruit), see in the listing above.

  • Carbohydrates: arabinose, glucose, xylose

  • Fat:

  • Proteins: contains the amino acids alanine, glutamic acid, leucine, methionine, phenylalanine and histidine.

  • Fiber: pectin

  • Vitamins: Vitamin C, pantothenic acid

  • Ascorbigen: antioxidant classified within indoles, common in cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, used to treat cancer and fibromyalgia.

  • Carotene: mainly xanthophylls and carotenoids.

  • Minerals: potassium, calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc

  • Oxalates

  • Tannins

  • Flavonoids: kaempferol, quercetin, amritoside, leucoanthocyanins

  • Organic acids: ursolic acid, citric acid, galacturonic acid, ellagic acid (bark and fruit), gallic acid.

  • Aromatic components: the guava fruit is rich in aromatic compounds, rare in other fruits. These substances have antioxidant and antiseptic properties, among others. It contains ajunolic acid (triterpene, greater content in root), alpha and betahumulene, alphaselinene, aromadendrene, betabisabolene, betacaryophyllene, betapinene, betaionone (anticaries and antibacterial), citral, deltacadinene, limonene, nerolidiol.

  • Phytosterols: Betasitosterol

Composition of guava plant per 100g.
Nutrient Amount
Calories (kcal.) 51
Carbohydrates (g.) 11,88
Proteins (g.) 0,82
Fat (g.) 0,60
Fiber (g.) 5,4
Vitamin C (mg.) 183,50
Vitamin B1 or Thiamin (mg.) 0,05
Vitamin B2 or riboflavin (mg.) 0,05
Vitamin B3 or niacin (mg.) 1,20
Pantothenic acid (mg.) 0,15
Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine (mg.) 0,14
Folate (mcg.) 14
Calcium (mg.) 20
Magnesium (mg.) 10
Phosphorus (mg.) 25
Sodium (mg.) 3
Potassium (mg.) 284
Iron (mg.) 0,31
Zinc (mg.) 0,23
Copper (mg.) 0,10
Selenium (mcg.) 0,60
Water (g.) 86,10

punto rojo More information on guava.

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This material is for informational purposes only. In case of doubt, consult the doctor.
"Botanical" is not responsible for damages caused by self-medication.

Botanical-online is an informative page that describes, among other topics, the traditional uses of plants from a therapeutic point of view. Their descriptions do not replace professional advice. Botanical-online is not responsible for self-medication and recommends consulting with the physician.
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