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Psidium Species, Cattley Guava, Cherry Guava, Strawberry Guava

Psidium cattleianum

Family: Myrtaceae (mir-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Psidium (SIGH-dee-um) (Info)
Species: cattleianum (kat-lay-ee-AH-num) (Info)
Synonym:Psidium cattleianum var. littorale
Synonym:Psidium cattleianum var. purpureum
Synonym:Psidium cattleianum var. pyriformis
Synonym:Psidium obovatum
Synonym:Psidium variabile




Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

By grafting

By air layering

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Tucson, Arizona

Canyon Country, California

Chowchilla, California

Escondido, California

Hidden Meadows, California

Lafayette, California

Lathrop, California

Los Angeles, California

Mission Viejo, California

Oxnard, California

Port Hueneme, California

Redondo Beach, California

San Diego, California

San Jose, California (2 reports)

Santa Rosa, California

Seal Beach, California

Vallejo, California

Ventura, California

Bartow, Florida

Big Pine Key, Florida

Boca Raton, Florida

Bradley, Florida

Daytona Beach, Florida

Dunnellon, Florida

Fort Meade, Florida

Hollywood, Florida (3 reports)

Keystone Heights, Florida

Kissimmee, Florida

Lakeland, Florida

Lehigh Acres, Florida

Malabar, Florida

Melbourne, Florida

Merritt Island, Florida

Miami Beach, Florida

Odessa, Florida

Orlando, Florida

Port Charlotte, Florida

Sarasota, Florida

Venice, Florida

Hawaiian Paradise Park, Hawaii

Honomu, Hawaii

Kailua, Hawaii

Kealakekua, Hawaii

Ama, Louisiana

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Lafayette, Louisiana

Slaughter, Louisiana

Missouri City, Texas

Pearland, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 30, 2017, alexgr1 from Dunnellon, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Beautiful little bush. Trained two of them as bonsai and they flowered and gave fruit at the two year mark. Zone 9a, under 50% shade screen. I will post pictures later.


On Jul 31, 2016, nathanieledison from Santa Rosa, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Totally useful and underutilized. I have been growing these for several years now and am overjoyed to say how satisfying they are.

LIGHT - They accept much shade, however at the expense of some fruit. Full sun with some brief midday shade is ideal.

SOIL - Also will tolerate and even thrive in most acceptable soils, however best performance is achieved in rich, porous ones.

WATER - is key, as some have said. Psidium cattleianum will pump out plenty of flower buds and then drop them if it doesn't have enough water/light during flowering. The yellow-fruited variety P. c. lucidum is less inclined to drop buds during this time, making it somewhat more adapted to our hot & dry California climates. Conversely, P. c. lucidum can also take occasional flo... read more


On Jan 14, 2016, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

The World Conservation Union IUCN has included this species on their list of 100 of the world's worst invasive species, an honor it shares with only 31 land plants.

Native to Brazil, this species has become an invasive threat to the ecology in many places around the world with tropical and semitropical climates, especially on islands.
It invades undisturbed native forests and forms large dense stands which other plants cannot penetrate. It is also a weed of forestry plantations and meadows and pastures, displacing forage plants.

It has become a serious problem, not just in Florid... read more


On Oct 6, 2015, texgardenerz9a from San Antonio, TX wrote:

My tree is about 7ft tall and 5ft wide ,I live in zone 9a and it seems to handle our winters fine . I have it on the west side of the house and, its produce a few guavas .


On Dec 13, 2011, alldoe from San Jose, CA wrote:

My strawberry guava looks very nice. But the fruit is not ripping. It stays green. It's in the ground for a little 2 years now. I wonder why. Do anyone know? Please let me know if you have any info.


On Nov 8, 2011, dingg from Richmond,
South Africa wrote:

Declared alien invasive in South Africa - may not be sold at nurseries. Delicious jelly!


On Jun 30, 2011, sandtiger21 from Pearland, TX wrote:

I planted a small 4.5' one I bought at the farmer's market in Houston around March 2011. I've planted it in my front yard and it's doing great and has been growing alot. A few weekends ago a few of the leaves were seared by the hot weather we are having. Damage seems to have been limited to that weekend and burned leaf damage has not spread.
I bought a second one a month ago it it is developing new growth.


On Feb 27, 2011, AlicePolarbear from Fresno, CA wrote:

My next door neighbor in mid-city L.A. had a mature strawberry guava in his back yard. He didn't care for the fruit (abundant crop every year) and allowed me to come over and harvest his. In that climate, all he did was occasionally water it. He never put much effort into it, yet it did beautifully and was a sweet-looking small tree (apx 12 feet).

The seed is a nuisance, but I'd just spit them out. I'd also run the fruit through a blender then strain out the seeds. The pulp combined with half-and-half and maybe a smidge of sugar made the most INCREDIBLE ice cream!

I just took delivery on a young one to try to grow up here in Fresno, CA where I live now. I hear they don't do great in hot dry summer climates and would be grateful for any tips.


On Apr 27, 2010, nullzero from Mission Viejo, CA wrote:

Great plant to have in a container. Will fruit in a 5gallon container. I would recommend the yellow variety, it fruits practically all year round in Southern California. The critters love the fruit though, so I would advise using netting around it.

I am going to propagate more so I can meet up with my daily cravings of it :). Strawberry guava has a lot of potential, if it was introduced into a good breeding program.


On Oct 23, 2008, islander808 from Kealakekua, HI wrote:

I love strawberry guava. Yum! In Hawaii we call the tree and fruit "waiawi" pronounced "why wee". I have many trees growing on the lava rock of my 20 acre property in Puna, island of Hawaii. The red ones are my favorite and when its in season I can sit there and eat lots of them, even the ones with the worms in them.
The tree was imported from Brazil to Hawaii in 1825 to be used as erosion control along the stream banks. The trees even as seedlings have a strong root system that really holds onto to the soil. It has grown so prolifically in our forests that "scientists" are now saying that they are harmful to our native forests. They classified the strawberry guava tree as an invasive weed instead of a valued fruit tree so that they can "control" it. The way in which they want... read more


On May 6, 2008, geobar from Tortuga,
Trinidad and Tobago wrote:

Can anyone provide seeds of this species? I cannot import plants, but grow a lot of fruit from Seeds and have a lot of success.
Please let me know how to get seeds of this plant.
George from Trinidad in the tropics (Zone 11 Plus).


On Jul 23, 2007, tropicaldude from Orlando, FL wrote:

I have a Red Strawberry tree and and a Yellow Cattley. Fruits of the red variety is usually twice as large as the yellow, but the yellow tastes slightly better. Interesting that fruitflies still prefer the red however. Maybe it's the color.

The fruitfly larvae ruin the fruit in no time, especially when ripening coincides with the wet season. The red cattley grows at at a good pace to about 12-13 feet and I find it interesting how for some people it's invasive, yet in 11 years I've only seen 2 seedlings develop (and slowly at that). It might vary with the specific plant. This guava is cold-hardy.

Overall I recommend the yellow variety which in my case also regularly fruits during in the middle of the winter time. They both fruit at least twice a year. Unfortuna... read more


On Aug 14, 2006, tmccullo from Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Planted our 4 months ago and it has already grown about 1 foot. We have it partially shaded by our banana plants and it is protected from the hottest parts of the day. The plant requires quite a bit of water and the leaves droop when it is thirsty. We have to water it twice a day so far.


On Aug 4, 2006, Gina_Rose from Hollywood, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

My grandmother has this in her backyard, although she had been told what she was buying was the standard guava tree like she used to eat from when she was younger. It's a very pretty little tree, and it fits right in to the small space where it's growing. I don't find it messy; there's a birdbath right underneath the tree which has never been stained or soiled by the fruits. The birds love it, I've seen the squirrels eating the fruits, and I'm betting some of our invasive iguanas probably enjoy it as well. ;) I have not found any volunteers growing.

I think this comment is mistaken: "Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings"
We don't particularly water the tree at all, yet it's healthier than I am and just finished putting out a big cro... read more


On Jul 22, 2006, aprilwillis from Missouri City, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I think this is a great plant- not invasive here. Looks great w/ or w/o watering and is generally just an attractive shrub.
The only thing I am not happy about is that the seeds are so large it makes the fruit less appealing than say pineapple guava. Still the fruit is tasty but those darn seeds are so big! Oh well can't have it all I suppose.


On Mar 15, 2005, DawnRain from Bartow, FL wrote:

I love guavas and any edible fruit species. As a child and until a few years ago, we went guava picking as folks up north probably go blueberry picking. Then there was the fruit fly problem and the invasive fears of environmentalists. These plants have been wiped out almost everywhere from the places we used to gather them. So I can only have guavas now by giving them space in my yard. To me it is sad. Maybe if I had ever gotten a fruit full of worms I would be more understanding. So far I have not in half a century plus.


On Mar 14, 2005, Cyanidae from Malabar, FL wrote:

This tree is most certainly an invasive in central FL, as one other writer noted. I have spent two weeks with 6 people and power tools removing hundreds of these trees in my back one acre. They crowd everything else out! I think they are pretty and the fruit is good, but it is not an environmentally responsible plant to grow here.


On Aug 14, 2004, Pameladragon from Appomattox, VA wrote:

This is one of my favorite house plants. I got a tiny specimen about 6 years ago and it now grows in a 15 gallon tub, outside in the summer and indoors all winter.

I am fortunate in having a large garden room with a southern exposure and can grow a lot of tropical and sub-tropical shrubs and small trees. The strawberry guava finally reached bearing size three years ago and produce the most delicious red fruits.

A nice thing about this shrub is that it is relatively free from pests, unlike my citrus! Occasionally I see some scale but it is easily taken care of with light horticultural oil.

My shrub is currently (August) covered with tiny green fruits that will ripen by the end of September. It is important to provide sufficient water when t... read more


On Jul 20, 2004, NativePlantFan9 from Boca Raton, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

I have this plant growing in my front yard. It does nicely with or without water. The birds (especially the monk and black-headed parakeets) as well as some wildlife love it and feed on it. The problems associated with this plant is that the fruit (guava apples) are extremely messy and slimy when the fall on the pavement and can be a pain to clean up. The plant is moderately invasive. The tree is native to South America, notably Brazil. The fruit is edible (I think) but I have'nt tried it, but they smell sweet, somewhat like apples. I live in South Florida and the tree (as well as its relative, the Common Guava) seem to do well in our area, as well as in much of central Florida.

NOTES (UPDATE!) - Just recently, the tree was removed. I'm happy it is gone, since the berries ma... read more


On Jul 16, 2004, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

This plant is native from here, on the brazilian coastal line, where it is abundant. It grows anywhere, and the fruits are delicious.


On Jul 16, 2004, punaheledp from Kailua, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

This is considered the worse pest plant in Hawaii's rain forests, favored by pigs which spread the seeds. Prospects for biological control are slim because the commercial use of the common guava would require rigorous species specificity of the control agent. Some studies are underway in Brazil (Must be big problem there too, or maybe they just have the right bugs and diseases). Elevation: 150M - 1300M. Strawberry-guava is a popular flavor for jams and juices, but is made with common guava and strawberries, not the strawberry guava fruit.


On Apr 9, 2004, xyris from Sebring, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

This shrub is known to be an invasive exotic species in central Florida, where I have seen it crowding out native shrubs in otherwise natural seepage-fed wetland forests. It is not as commonly found as other invasive exotics, but can cover a few acres pretty solidly where it occurs. I would suspect that it would be unlikely to escape in a drier climate.


On Apr 6, 2004, nancyanne from Lafayette, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

A very attractive plant, glossy green leaves; almost evergreen here in zone 9a - the very coldest temps may frostbite branch tips.
A fast-growing small tree or large shrub. The fruit is tasty, though full of b-b sized seeds. It must be self-fruitful; my yields have increased, however, since I planted a second tree.


On Jun 8, 2003, IslandJim from Keizer, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

If you live in a zone that this plant likes, it will make a handsome specimen landscape shrub, an attractive hedge plant, or a small, multi-stem patio tree. Its stems, while not as peeling as a crape myrtle, are every bit as interesting looking. The fruit, which is quite good, is a bonus. The fruit, however, is subject to attack by fruit flies. But it has its advocates, nonetheless. When an acquaintance was asked, "What should I do if my guavas get fruit flies?" He replied: "Eat them in the dark." I will try to remember to post pictures of ripe fruit [without fruit flies] later this year.