Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Psidium guajava L.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Fruit, cross section and side view. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Linnaeus, C. von (1753) Species Plantarum 2: 470. Type: Habitat in India. Probably cultivated, originally from tropical America.

Common name

Guava; Common Guava; Guava, Common


A small tree with a smooth brownish bark.


Oil dots visible with a lens. Stipules small and inconspicuous. Leaf blades about 7.5-14 x 3.5-6 cm. Midrib depressed on the upper surface. Twigs 4-angled or shortly 4-winged.


Calyx closed at the bud stage, splitting into about 4-6 lobes when the flower opens. Calyx lobes green on the outside but cream on the inner surface. Calyx tube (hypanthium) + lobes about 17 x 8 mm at the flower bud stage. Petals about 15-20 x 10-11 mm.


Fruit globular, ovoid or pyriform, about 4.5-8.5 cm long. Calyx lobes persisting at the apex. Seeds hard, about 3 x 2.5 mm. Testa +/- furry because of the attached tissue. Embryo horseshoe-shaped.


Cotyledons ovate, about 7-10 mm long with a short mucro at the apex. Oil dots small, visible with a lens, more numerous about the margin. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade elliptic, apex obtuse or mucronate, base cuneate, upper surface glabrous; oil dots small and numerous, visible with a lens; petioles glabrous, often reddish. Seed germination time 19 days.

Distribution and Ecology

An introduced species, originally from Central America, widely cultivated in Australia and now naturalised in NEQ, CEQ and many other places in Queensland and north-eastern New South Wales. Altitudinal range in NEQ from sea level to 750 m. Grows as an understory tree in rain forest regrowth on a variety of sites but is probably more frequently encountered on the coastal lowlands.

Natural History & Notes

Fruits eaten by Crimson Rosellas and Cassowaries. Cooper & Cooper (1994).

This introduced species is widely cultivated through out the wet tropics. Sometimes forming dense thickets along roads and regrowth areas of rain forest.

This species may have medicinal properties. ( /herbage/A21796.htm)

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