Atlanta Fruitman’s Blog

June 1, 2009, 10:44 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Here is little known fruit (in this area at least) that need more attention. Its one of the few temperate evergreen fruit bushes  around, so it is perfect for a single bush or a wind break. The another common name for it is Pineapple Guava.  It is not a true Guava that you would see in tropical markets, but is still part of the myrtle family. Dont let the name fool you it is a cold hardy bush. I have never seen any real damage to it around my house and I know some people are growing them north Georgia.  Some leaves will burn on the end when we go down to single digits, but I always get a new flush of leaves in the spring. The bush can be pruned to a short hedge or trimmed to a small tree. The leaves are similar to a Camellia but have a frosted look to them. The flowers have white-lavender fleshy petals and red stamens and yellow tips. The petals are even slightly sweet and minty flavored. The fruit looks like small aromatic green torpedoes with a taste that is sweetly acid. Some say it is a mix of strawberry and pineapple, but I think it has taste all its own.  It is a great fruit for salads and salsa or just fresh. Some people eat just the inside witch is more sweet, others will eat the skin and all which have a more sharp flavor. The seeds are tiny and unoticable like kiwis.

It is a very low care bush. I have never done anything to it.  I will occasionally take brush an dab the flowers, so I am sure I get the best pollination, but it may not be necessary. You will need two bushes to get fruit.  I have never sprayed, watered or even covered the bush, and I am always rewarded with a few bushels of fruit every year -even during the drought years (the fruit were just smaller). The squirrels or birds dont seem to like it. I dont know if they even know it is there. The fruit stays green even when it is most ripe and at a distance may be hard to see on the bush. You know it is ripe when the fruit falls to the ground.  This happens around late October early November here.

I am thinking about them now because I just picked a bunch of flower petels to make mild flavored wine…so actually you could say you get two crops out of the bush! I have made a very distinctive flavored wine out of the fruit as well lst year. This has to be one of the top fruit trees in the yard.