When we took a house for rent, a small Guava tree was already planted in the space between the house and the compound. With care and constant pruning, the tree grew to a height of 15 feet and gifted us with many sweet fruits during our stay there.
Botanical name of Guava is Psidium Guajava. It belongs to myrtle family Myrtaceae. In Kannada it is called as Seebehannu, Chepekai and Pyaralkai; in Marathi – Peru and in Hindi – Amrood.
The tree is grown for the edible fruits and it is very easy to grow in tropical and subtropical countries. The guava thrives in both humid and dry climates. Spray the foliage to keep it healthy and pinch new growth to keep the plant bushy. The tree grows up to a height of 20 to 25 feet. The bark of the tree is extremely smooth.
The leaves are opposite, simple, elliptic to ovate about 5-15 cm long. The flowers are white, with five petals and numerous stamens. The fruit outer layer is Green and as it ripens turns into a pale yellow. The fruit is juicy and crunchy and delicious with a distinct aroma. The pulp is either white or pink.
The white variety is more popular as the seeds are very small and the fruit is sweet whereas, the pink variety has bigger seeds and is a little sour. Parrots love to bite into this fruit.
Guava is eaten as is or with a sprinkle of Salt and Chili Powder. Guava is also chopped and mixed with other fruits and Chaat Masala is sprinkled over it and served as fruit chaat. A yoghurt-based dish called “Peru Koshimbir” is prepared using Guava. Due to the high pectin content it is a favorite to prepare jams and jellies. Guava juice is extremely delicious and a great thirst quencher.
Guava is rich in antioxidants and definitely will benefit if it is consumed regularly. A single Guava contains 165mg of Vitamin C compared to 69mg in one Orange. The fruit is a good source of beta-carotene, lycopene, soluble fiber and potassium.
Guava is believed to control blood pressure and cholesterol because of the presence of Potassium.