Gardening Magazine

Plant of the Week: Feijoa Sellowiana

By Davis Landscape Architecture @DavisLandArch

Feijoa sellowiana Flower (28/07/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Feijoa sellowiana Flower (28/07/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Flowering period: Summer

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 7m

Eventual Spread: 7m

Hardiness: 8a – 10b

Family: Myrtaceae

Feijoa sellowiana is an evergreen large shrub or small tree which produced edible fruit. Its thick sliver/ green leaves are opposite, obtuse with entire margins and up to 6cm long and 3cm broad. Its distinctive flowers have numerous red stamen and four fleshy white petals. Its is not self fertile. Its edible fruit is green, oblong, up to 6cm long and 5cm wide.

Feijoa sellowiana, commonly known as Feijoa, Pineapple Guava and Guavasteen, is native to the highlands of Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina. Feijoa sellowiana is synonymous Acca sellowiana and Orthostemon sellowianus.

The etymological root of the binomial name Feijoa is after the Portuguese botanist Joao de Silva Feijo. Sellowiana is named after Friedrich Sellow the German Botanist and Naturalist who collected specimens in South America who discovered this plant.

Feijoa sellowiana (28/07/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Feijoa sellowiana (28/07/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

The landscape architect may find  Feijoa sellowiana useful as an unusual fruiting shrub in community gardens. In the UK it prefers a sheltered position and can be successfully grown against a wall. Once established this plant is some what drought tolerant (outside of fruit production time). It is mildly tolerant of salt spray.

Ecologically, F. sellowiana is attractive to pollinating insects. It is also attractive to mammals who eat its edible flower petals and fruit.

F. sellowiana prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil, although it prefers chalky soils.

Feijoa sellowiana requires little maintenance.

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