Guavaberry

The guavaberry is a small and tangy berry fruit that is mostly found in the Caribbean

Its tree also goes by the same name

This fruit which is often confused with guava owing to the similarity in their names is actually very different from guava

It is rather a close relative of Camu Camu

Guavaberry is also particularly famous for the Guavaberry Liqueur that is prepared with these berries

This drink signifies the spirit of Christmas in the Virgin Islands

Scientific Name

The scientific name of the guavaberry tree is known as Myrciaria floribunda

Guavaberry Description

The size of this fruit is almost half the size of a cherry

Similar to most drupes, the fruit flesh or pulp surrounds a stone (which is actually the seed)

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jpg” alt=”Guavaberry Picture” width=”215″ height=”234″ />
Picture 1 – Guavaberry

Colour: Guavaberries are generally yellow – orange or dark-red in colour

Flavour: This fruit has a tangy flavour that can be best enjoyed when a guavaberry is eaten fresh

Guavaberry Tree

The guavaberry tree or shrub is quite variable in shape and size

It can attain a height of up to 60 feet when fully grown

These trees usually have reddish – brown branches

It bears small pretty flowers that are mostly pink or white in colour

Distribution

The Guavaberry tree is native to Central America, South America and the Caribbean

Later the tree was also introduced to Florida, Bermuda, Hawaii as well as the Philippines

Guavaberry Cultivation

Let us take a look at some of the basic cultivation requirements of the guavaberry tree

Climate

Dry and moist climatic conditions are ideal for the growth of this tree

It is important to remember that the guavaberry tree is frost hardy

Make sure that the tree is planted in an area where it can receive full sunlight; although partial shade is also recommended

Soil

This tree can adapt to any type of soil

However fertile, well drained and loamy soil is considered to be best for the tree

Pruning

Pruning is essential for the maintenance of a guavaberry shrub or tree

This tree tends to have a very straggly appearance, spreading out in different directions if left unchecked without pruning

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Picture 2 – Guavaberry Picture

Care and Maintenance

It is important to use NPK fertiliser to ensure healthy growth of the tree

It is rare for the guavaberry tree to acquire any pest or disease

However, it is recommended to use an insecticide if the plant shows any abnormal symptoms

It is important to remember that the guavaberry tree is not at all similar to guava or guava tree

The two just happen to have similar type of names

In fact, the guavabery tree can be closely associated to the clove and eucalyptus

The guavaberry tree is generally considered hard to cultivate, owing to its tendency to grow wild

This warm climate tree prefers rocky terrain and harsh landscapes

Moreover, this tree is also quite vulnerable to rainfall, winds and insects; under such circumstances the yield per year can drop really low sometimes resulting in no fruits at all

When the tree does bear fruit usually it is from September to October that the berries ripen and are ready for harvest

Guavaberry Nutritional Facts

Guavaberries are high in fibre and are also packed with essential vitamins like vitamin C and K

This fruit is considered to be good for health also because of the mineral content of iron, phosphorous and calcium

It is also rich in proteins

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Guavaberry Uses

Edible Uses

Guavaberries are generally eaten fresh like most fruits

It is also used in the preparation of jams

Guavaberries are excellent when served with ice cream

This fruit is also known for its usage in certain beverages

Guavaberries are fantastic as a colada; a mixed drink containing coconut cream, pineapple juice and guavaberry liqueur

These berries have earned a reputation for the flavour it imparts when fermented and used in alcoholic drinks

Guavaberry Liqueur

Guavaberry liquor is a traditional Christmas drink that is famous in Sint Maarten and the Virgin Islands

This legendary drink is said to have been first prepared by Caribbean people centuries ago

The concoction is prepared by mixing guavaberries, rum and sugar cane

The guavaberry liqueur contributes a special flavour when added to desserts and sauces

Medicinal Uses

In countries like Cuba, guavaberries are associated to have healing properties for liver problems

These berries are boiled and used for liver treatment

Guavaberry Availability

Guavaberries are generally available in the market during the months of September and October

The rate of availability of this fruit is likely to fluctuate since it tends to ripen in different seasons annually

Guavaberry Interesting Facts

Here are some fun facts about the guavaberry worth to note!

Not many are aware of the fact that there is a song after the guavaberry; popularly referred to as the Guavaberry Song

This song was written and composed by Bill La Motta

Carol singers who went about singing the Guavaberry Song from door to door were bound to receive a small sample of the Guavaberry liqueur at each door!

In the Virgin Islands and the Dominican Republic the guavaberry liqueur is associated with the spirit of Christmas and the love people have for this festival

The guavaberry concoction is considered to be the national drink of Sint Maarten

Guavaberry Side Effects

There are no known side effects of guavaberries till date; however, related species like the camu – camu is known to have a high ascorbic (vitamin C) content that can be hazardous for health

No such hypothesis is backed by a strong proof when it comes to guavaberies

As such, it is always recommended to consult a dietician before consumption

Guavaberry Pictures

Here are some pictures of guavaberries

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Picture 3 – Guavaberry Photo

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Picture 4 - Guavaberry Image

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