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Products > Acca sellowiana
 
Acca sellowiana - Pineapple Guava
   

 
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Myrtaceae (Myrtles)
Origin: Brazil (South America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Pink
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Synonyms: [Feijoa sellowiana, Orthostemon sellowiana]
Height: 12-20 feet
Width: 10-15 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Seaside: Yes
Drought Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
Acca sellowiana (Pineapple Guava) - This is an evergreen small tree or large shrub that reaches 16-25 feet tall to nearly as as wide but is generally seen as in the range of 8 to 10 feet tall. It produces oval shaped leaves that have a silvery-white underside. In late spring to early summer appear the showy flowers with the inside of the fleshy edible flower petals a shiny pink while the outside of the petals are white. The pineapple-flavored pulpy 2 inch long oval fruit is produced three to four months after the flowers. Plant in full sun and give occasional to moderate water irrigation. It is hardy to about 20 degrees F. A hedge of this plant along the north fence line of our nursery was undamaged during short duration temperatures down to the 18 F that were experienced in December 1990. This plant grows from the highlands of Southern Brazil through Eastern Paraguay, Uruguay, Northern Argentina and Columbia and has long been called Feijoa sellowiana but apparently this name has been incorrectly applied since 1941. The German botanist Otto Karl Berg (1816-1866) described this plant as Feijoa sellowiana in 1859, naming the genus after Joo da Silva Feij (1760-1824), a Portuguese naturalist born in Brazil. In 1856, three years prior, Berg had given the name Acca domingensis to another South American plant in the Myrtaceae. The derivation of Acca is cited as from an ancient Hebrew word meaning "hot sand", perhaps from Akkad (Sumerian Agde, Biblical Acca) the name of the city founded by Sargon I in northern Babylonia, though how this relates to this plant seems a mystery. In 1941 Karl Ewald Maximilian Burret (1883-1964), a German research botanist combined these two genera (Repertorium Specierum Novarum Regni Vegetabilis. Centralblatt fr Sammlung und Veroffentlichung von Einzeldiagnosen neuer Pflanzen. [Edited by Friedrich Fedde]. Berlin, 50: 59.) so the valid name of this plant is Acca sellowiana. The specific epithet "sellowiana" honors Friedrich Sello (Sellow) (1789-1831) a German botanist who collected in South America. Its introduction to the US is credited to Dr. Franceschi, an Italian botanist living in Santa Barbara. Here in the US it is commonly called Pineapple Guava but as it is cultivated around the world it as obtained other names such as Feijoa, Brazilian Guava, Fig Guava, Guavasteen, New Zealand Banana and Guaybo del Pais. We have grown this wonderful plant since 1980.  This description is based on our research and the observations we have made of this plant as it grows in containers at our nursery, in our own garden and in other gardens. We also appreciate receiving feedback of any kind from those who have additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Acca [Feijoa] sellowiana.