|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Psidium guajava, Linn. Guava. Fig. 3247. An arborescent shrub or small tree, up to 25 or 30 ft. high, the trunk rather slender, usually dividing close to the ground, the bark scaly, smooth, greenish brown: lvs. oblong-elliptic, elliptic, or oval, 3-6 in. long, 1 1/2-2 1/2in. broad, char- taceous, rounded to acute at apex, rounded at base, light green, finely pubescent below, the venation conspicuously impressed above and raised below; petiole 1 1/2-2 1/2in. long: fls. produced on branchlets of recent growth, solitary or on 2- or 3-fld. peduncles, axillary; pedicel 3/4in. long, bearing at its upper end 2 small, slender bracts; calyx-tube oblong-ovate, slightly constricted above the ovary; calyx closed before anthesis, splitting into 2-4 irregular segms., whitish and sparsely hairy within; petals broadly oval, about 3/4in. long, thin and delicate, white; stamens erect or spreading, in a broad cluster, the filaments about 1/2 in. anthers pale straw-colored; style about 3/8 in. high, stigma subcapitate, greenish: fr. globose, ovoid or pyriform, 1-4 in. long, commonly yellowish in color with flesh varying from whitish or yellowish to deep pink ; flavor sweet or somewhat acid, with a pronounced musky aroma; seeds usually numerous, reniform or flattened. Flowers most abundantly in spring and produces the main crop of frs. in Aug. and Sept. Mex. and Cent. Amer., perhaps as far south as Peru.—This species is variable, and occurs in a wide range of horticultural forms. The two species pyriferum and pomiferum of Linnaeus are considered to be nothing more than round and pear-shaped varieties, and are no longer accorded botanical standing. A large guava, which appears to be a horticultural form of this species, was formerly offered by Reasoner Bros, of Fla. under the name of P. guineense, but is now being called Guinea guava and referred to P.
Guajava. It is a large sweet of excellent flavor, with unusually few seeds and thick flesh. In Calif, this variety has been called P. guianense. A round red-fleshed guava intro. to Calif, by Franceschi under the name of P. aromaticum also appears to be a horticultural variety of P. Guajava. The variety Perico has been disseminated in Fla. ; other forms are commonly listed by nurserymen under such names as "sweet," "sour," "red- fleshed," and the like. In Calif., where this species is less commonly grown than in Fla., an oval yellow-fleshed form is called lemon guava, a pyriform white-fleshed one is known as pear guaya, and a yellow one with pink flesh is called Hawaiian guava.
The name guayaba, by which the fruit is known in Spanish (the plant guayabo) is generally considered to have come from the island of Santo Domingo. Both Barbosa Rodrigues and Tavares, however, assert that it originated with the Tupi Indians in Brazil. In French the fruit is called goyave, the plant goyavier; in Portugese goiaba, the plant goiabeira; and in German gujaya, the plant gujavabaum. The aboriginal name in Mexico is xalxocotl, meaning sand-apple or sand-plum. Xocotl was the name applied by the Aztecs to all sour fruits, in contradistinction to zapotl which indicated all sweet ones. CH
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- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963