09 April, 2012

New Zealanders love Feijoa

I grew up in the North Island, 1000 kilometers from here.  Most gardens had a Feijoa tree and often a whole hedge.  So in season a quick trip to the garden to gather some for breakfast, or a quick grab to take some to work was a part of the daily routine.  Often there was too much of the fruit and there would be a carpet of fallen fruit sending it's distinctive rich and beautiful smell across the garden.

Love these things straight off the tree.  Best way to eat them is with a teaspoon scooping out the fruit like a boiled egg.  Fruit is egg sized and sometimes a bit bigger.

I planted three trees because a pollinator is required.
Two years planted and about 1200mm tall.  (4 feet in the USA)
What does the net tell me?  Acca sellowiana, a species of flowering plant of  in the myrtle family, Mytaceae, is native to the highlands of southern Brazil, eastern Paraguay and northern Argentina (according to Wikipedia)  While it is grown rarely in the United States, (I would appreciate some comment on that) strangely it is in cultivation in Azerbaijan and neighbouring Georgia. Sometimes it's known as Pineapple Guava.
Feijoa will grow to 2 or 3 meters.  These ones will bush out and touch.
 You can buy Feijoa very easily in season in New Zealand, it is also one of those fruits which do not travel or store well.  (Not a good shelf life)  Some many wonderful fruit do not meet the distribution and transport needs of the supermarket system.
18th February 2012.  Flower remnant and the start of the fruit.
But there is a little problem.  I am not getting many fruit.  There should be about 30 fruit on even a small tree like these.  But there are only one or two.  The original cultivars were "Tagan I" and "Tagan II".  Different for the purpose of pollination.
A more developed Feijoa.  18th February 2012.
I had a call about this from Muriel at Cromwell Gardenworld.  She said the wholesaler had given her another Feijoa for me, for free.  Muriel thinks the wholesaler knows there is a problem with the original supposed pollinator.   I planted that today, it's a "Arhart"  and described as "probably the earliest flowering/fruiting variety".

I hope that wholsaler knows what they are doing.  Early might be much earlier than what I already have.  So how will "they get it on" for pollination.  Mind you, nature might find a way.
9th April 2012.  My best and solitary Feijoa fruit.
There are Feijoa Trees which will produce 1500 fruit for each tree.  New Zealanders love them.
Mid May 2013.  Fruit everywhere.

You eat Feijoa like you would eat a boiled egg.

White center turns clear when ripe and when brown is past it.  LOVERLY.
 I am interested to hear from anybody who tells me about where in the world Feijoas are grown.  Comments below. 


  1. mmm I've never heard of the Feijoa

    ... to me it looks similar to a guava

    what does the inner fruit look and taste like?

  2. I'm no help. I've never even heard of this tree.

  3. Sometimes known as Pineapple Guava. But I only have read that. I have not heard it here in New Zealand.
    Flavour --Wikipedia says it best. As I find it hard to do words about taste. "the flavour is aromatic, very strong and complex, inviting comparison with guava, strawberry, pineapple,"
    Me - I'd vote guava, and it's also juicy and strong tasting and often used to flavour drinks and such things as icecream.

  4. hello Im in Australia there are several growers now. We sell feijoa trees to home gardeners.
    We have the only feijoa hedge maze in the world 2,000 trees.

  5. Wow Christine. I sort of knew there would be some enthusiasts pop up. Who know a lot. I saw the facebook page (Link via Cristine's name on her comment) and there seems to be a fair number of New Zealanders in Australia seeking Feijoa.
    Are you in Queensland. It's very warm and moist there. Here it's south, with a real winter, but basically desert dry and bright sun climate.

  6. Christine Neville10 April, 2012

    We are in Northern NSW cool climate country, Theres several growers in Southern Queensland with huge crops this year. Theres starting to be growers in South Australia and also Western Australia but because of stricy quantine restriction they have problems aquiring the trees.
    Weve set up a community nursery and sales from the trees goes to community projects :-)

  7. Christine Neville10 April, 2012

    Hi your comment about USA they actually have their own commercial varieties and they grow mostly in California I believe. Ive also seen reference to feijoas in Greece,Italy and they are available in garden centres in the UK.
    They are such a strong tree we have -10 here in winter and none have suffered.

  8. I have at the back of my mind, because the bark is similar - that Eucalyptus and guava are related? I have heard of your pineapple guava but not met one. The guava is a - seek and destroy, only with permit, invasive alien here. We removed the trees we inherited. And they are happily growing up again from the roots.

  9. Thanks Diana. That's interesting about your Guava plants. I had always thought it a South African tree as I loved getting a can of Guavas from there. Nothing better on the planet (for cans any way) South Africa was the only place those devine canned fruit came from. So I was surprised at the invasive idea.
    But looking at Wiki I see they are not South African at all. Kerry

  10. according to wiki feijoa are indeed in the same family as Eucalyptus.
    and part of the myrtle family.

    The Myrtaceae or Myrtle family are a family of dicotyledon plants, placed within the order Myrtales. Myrtle, clove, guava, feijoa, allspice, and eucalyptus belong here. All species are woody, with essential oils, and flower parts in multiples of four or five. One notable character of the family is that the phloem is located on both sides of the xylem, not just outside as in most other plants. The leaves are evergreen, alternate to mostly opposite, simple, and usually with an entire (not toothed) margin. The flowers have a base number of five petals, though in several genera the petals are minute or absent. The stamens are usually very conspicuous, brightly coloured and numerous.

  11. Christine Neville12 April, 2012

    Pineapple guava is the name given to feijoa but a feijoa is NOT a guava.

  12. Yes Christine. the Feijoa is not a Guava.
    But they are the same in both being lip smacking good.

  13. they certainly are weve just put a batch of wine to ferment!

  14. One of the fascinating things here is figuring out - well finding -- out what will grow. And in my experience the experts are not the experts.
    On one hand we have a very challenging environment, very cold, very hot, very dry. It's a long way south. On the other hand it is clearly a very good horticultural area. Cherries, and all sorts of fruit are big industry around here. And in recent years grapes.
    Feijoas are usually thought of as sub tropical - and do grow well in the north. But we are finding that they also grow well here. mmmmh.
    Pistacio - theres a thought. Just last week I was talking to a man I have known for years. He's a psychiatrist and from Persia. To y surprise he says "I probably know more about Pistacios than I know about Psychiatry." !!!!!!! I see a project coming up.

  15. Pistacios need quite a few hours of hot sun per summer but do like cold winters. What are your temperatures like? I havent been your way for a couple of years I lived in Wellington for 19 odd years before moving to Australia

  16. Just discovered you whilst bloghopping thought I'd join up and follow along, great blog.

    We grow Feijoa here in our garden as a regular shrub although it never bears fruit because there isn't another feijoa in the immediate area. In fact I dont think I've seen another in London.

    I should really get a mate for it so we can try to cultivate the fruit which as yet I still haven't tasted.

    Off to delve into your blog.


  17. Feijoa Arhart : I have just bought one of these - couldn't resist a new ( to me , at least ) variety of feijoa. Of course it will be several years before this litle , 30cm (12inch or so) decides to flower and fruit .
    I note the label says this variety is good for the south of the South Island ( New Zealand )ie your territory.
    However your territory might be a challenge with its dryness?
    Feijoas like to feed as well as drink so the adding of citrus-type fertiliser might be necessary ?

    Best Wishes,
    New Zealand

  18. We just realized that the fruit we have in our backyard are feijoas! We had no idea and they're great! We have 2 big trees and we get hundreds every October. We live in the Central Valley of California. Thanks for the great information.

  19. Thanks for the link when you visited my post about Feigoa. I'm not sure it needs another cultivar just one than one tree. They only had one kind where I bought mine but all the trees were full of fruit. Christina

  20. Many good varieties are not precocious and may not beat at 120 cm.

    I suspect flowering time does not vary nearly as much as fruiting time, so almost any feijoa will pollinate any other, except a clone of itself


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