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About Guava

The History

Guava comes from the Myrtle family (Myrtaceae). It is a large family of more than 70 genera and 2,800 species, distributed through tropical and subtropical regions, chiefly in America and Austrailia, ranging from tall trees to small woody creepers.

Yellow Strawberry Guava, Yellow Cattley Guava, (Hawaiian) Waiawi, (Psidium cattleianum f. lucidum Degener), is a handsome tree 10-20 feet high, with smooth, nearly cylindrical branches, originating from Brazil. The leaves are fragrant, smooth, dark green, shiny, inverted-ovate, 1.5 to 3.5 inches long. Flowers and fruits resemble those of the common guava; but the flowers are less than 1 inch. The bright yellow in the wood is a naturally occuring pigment.

This species was brought to Hawaii around 1825, for making jams, jellies and juice. It was also widely used for making charcoal and smoking meats. A charcoal kiln from the turn of the century is still intact at Oahu's Hoomaluhia Botanical Park.