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.
The scientific name of the guavaberry tree is known as Myrciaria floribunda.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Let us take a look at some of the basic cultivation requirements of the guavaberry tree.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
In countries like Cuba, guavaberries are associated to have healing properties for liver problems. These berries are boiled and used for liver treatment.
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.
Here are some pictures of guavaberries.