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Chilean Guava

This is one of my favorite of all fruits!  The Chilean Guava is an absolutely delicious fruit that smells and tastes like cotton candy!  It has a creamy, pear-like texture with a flavor that almost everyone loves.  Some think it tastes like strawberries or vanilla cream, while others describe it as passion fruit or guava.  Unlike some berries, which need to be made into a jam to taste good, the Chilean Guava tastes great fresh!  You're not likely to find this rare fruit in markets, but now you can grow your own supply at home!

Chilean Guava

The Chilean Guava (Ugni molinae, also called Myrtus ugni or Eugenia ugni) is a perennial bush that grows about 5 or 6 feet tall and wide here in San Francisco.  It's an attractive plant with deep-green foliage and pink, bell-shaped flowers in the spring.  The plant is self-pollinating, so only one plant is needed to make fruit.  Around September, the " berries begin to ripen, filling the garden with their sweet, cotton-candy aroma!  The entire fruit is edible, including the tiny seeds. They have a nice balance of tangy and sweet, and are not too tart like some berries.  A mature plant can yield a few pounds of fruit.  Feel free to make them into muffins, ice cream, and jams.. although you might eat them all on the way to the kitchen!

Ugni molinae

The Chilean Guava comes from a cool, spring-like climate and does best with moderate temperatures and cool nights.  I don't know if it will thrive in warm climates.  Consider it experimental in areas that regularly get over 80-85 degrees, especially if nights are warm.  It grows well indoors in a pot, if the air isn't too dry.  Outdoors, it is said to handle down to about 20 degrees F.  It does best in part sun, with some protection from strong afternoon sun.  It prefers moist, well-draining soil with a slightly acid pH.  Most ordinary potting soils should work.

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