It’s time at the ol’ homestead to harvest Strawberry Guavas. Psidium cattleianum (or Cattley Guava). Our little tree (more like a bush) has been in for a few years. It was a gift from farmer friends in Fillmore, California. The plant seems quite happy here in Petaluma. We’ve got it planted against a south facing wall of the house with our citrus so it’s protected from frost. It doesn’t seem to mind our adobe soil and it gets blasted with sun in the summer. A permaculture plant for sure as it needs no attention once it’s established and bears large quantities of fruit.
Here is a description from the Trade Winds Fruit website:
Dark red skinned guava, closely related to the common guava, with an excellent strawberry like flavor. Fruits are small, to 1.5″ around, and the pulp is translucent and very juicy. In some varieties, the flesh can taste pleasantly spicy.
Description: Small bush or tree to 20-25ft, although often much smaller.
Hardiness: Strawberry guava’s are hardy to 22F when full grown.
Growing Environment: The strawberry guava is very adaptable and can be grown outdoors throughout much of Florida and California. It will fruit in a container almost anywhere if protected from hard freezes. Trees grow well in full sun and with ample water, although short periods of drought will not harm the plant. Lots of water is needed during fruit development and for proper ripening to occur. The yellow strawberry guava (Psidium cattlenium var. lucidum) is said to be not quite as hardy as the standard red strawberry guava, but seems to survive temperatures to 25F.
Propagation: Usually by seed, sometimes by cuttings.
Native Range: Native to coastal areas of Eastern Brazil.
Uses: Usually eaten fresh or used to flavor beverages, ice creams, and desserts.