Feijoa fruits. Feijoa flowers. Spacer
Feijoa fruits and flowers with a lorikeet feeding on the sweet petals

Feijoa, Pineapple Guava

Acca (Feijoa) sellowiana


It is native to extreme southern Brazil, northern Argentina, western Paraguay and Uruguay and is common in mountainous regions.


Sub-tropical, with low humidity. Optimum rainfall is 700 - 1000mm. It prefers locations with a cool spell for part of the year. It can survive sub-freezing temperatures. It is drought-resistant but needs adequate water for fruit production. It can tolerate partial shade and slight exposure to salt spray.

Plant Description:

The plant is a bushy shrub 1 to 6m or more in height. The evergreen, opposite, short-petioled, elliptical leaves are thick and leathery, glossy dark green on the top and silvery grey and slightly fuzzy on the underside. It can be clipped into a hedge and is very ornamental, with showy red and white flowers.


It belongs in the large Myrtaceae Family, which consists of 144 genera and 5500 species. Feijoa is diploid with 2n = 22 chromosomes. Other fruiting species in the family include guava, cherry guava, rose apple, pitanga, grumichama, pitangatuba, wax jambu, water apple and cherry of the Rio Grande.


It prefers rich organic soil, slightly acid and well-drained, and is not very thrifty on light or sandy terrain.


Can be grown from seed, but they often are not true to type. Potting soil should be sterile, as young plants are very susceptible to damping-off. Plants can be marcotted; grafting is less successful. Cuttings are also difficult but bottom heat and rooting hormones will help.


There are many cultivars. Mammoth, Apollo, Triumph, David, Large Oval, and Chapman are just some of them.

Flowering and Pollination:

The axillary hermaphrodite flowers, commonly uniflorate but sometimes in clusters of 2-3, are 3-4cm in diameter, have a green calyx and 4-6 white exterior/mauve interior elliptic spoon-shaped petals and 60-100 bright red stamens with white-tipped anthers. The single central style extends 4-15mm above the plane of the anthers. There is no nectary, but the pollen contains sugars as a reward for pollinators. Each of the 4-locules in the epigynous ovary contains 30-60 ovules. Flowering may continue for 4-6 weeks and individual flowers only last 1-2 days. The gynoecium is receptive about 24 hours before pollen release, and depending on variety and environmental conditions there may be sufficient overlap to allow pollination. Varieties exhibit facultative xenogamy, that is most have some limited self-fertility but cross-pollination gives better crop yields. Self-incompatibility manifests genetically about 30days after fertilisation, meaning it's desirable to have more than one plant or multiple grafted varieties. Pollination is by birds feeding on the sweet petals; insects and wind are also thought to contribute. Hand-pollination may be necessary if these vectors are insufficient.


Plants need little care once they are established, other than pruning to restrict lanky growth. Feijoa has a shallow, fibrous root system which should be left undisturbed. If growing feijoas for their fruit, do not add fertilisers high in N. It needs plentiful water during fruiting.

Wind Tolerance:

Good. Well-clipped hedges are used as windbreaks around orchards.


The fruit is borne on young growth. The plant has a tendency to become very leggy. These two factors indicate that pruning should begin early on young plants, to encourage them to become bushy with lots of fruiting tips. Prune the fruiting branches back as soon as fruit is harvested, to allow time for new shoots to grow for the next harvest.

The Fruit:

The fruits are berries and can take many shapes, from round to oblong or pear-shaped. The skin is thin and green, can be blushed with purple or red, and can be smooth or slightly ridged and warty. There are persistent calyx segments adhering to the apex. The flesh, 60-70% of the whole fruit, is white to creamy yellow, with a slightly granular texture, with many very small seeds. The flavour is sweet or subacid and fruity with about 10% soluble sugars. The whole fruit emits a pleasant perfume as it nears maturity.

Fruit Production and Harvesting:

It is best to allow the fruits to fall to the ground when they are ready; the flavour will be better than fruit picked prematurely. Keep the ground below the plant clear of thick weeds. A padding layer of clean, dry leaves or straw will help to avoid bruising. It is best to store the fruits in a cool place: their shelf life in a warm place is only a few days.

Fruit Uses:

Eaten fresh, scooped out with a spoon. Can be made into a wide range of desserts, jams, ice creams and drinks. It can be dried.

Pests and Diseases:

Fruit fly, otherwise few insect pests. Birds.


It is a very tough and hardy plant, attractive and fruitful.

More info: Feijoa Pollination

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