Acca sellowiana from the Myrtaceae family. Feijoa is a fruit of many names: Pineapple Guava, Guavasteen, Brazilian Guava, Fig Guava, Guayabo Del Pais. In spite of this they not guavas! They are named after a Brizilian Botanist João da Silva Feijo. Native to Brazil and Uruguay, they were introduced into New Zealand in the early 1900’s and since then has taken the country by storm. In fact New Zealand is now one of the largest commercial growers of feijoas.
The humble feijoa is favoured by home gardeners for their disease resistance, ornamental nature and ability to be grown in small spaces or containers. New Zealand is now one of the largest commercial growers of Feijoa in the world with it being referred to as ‘The peoples fruit’.
Nutritionally they are high in dietary fibre and Vitamin C and Vitamin A.
Petals of the flowers are edible. Succulent and sweet they make a great addition to salads.
By year 3-5 the tree should begin fruiting with a yield around 2 kg. This will double each year to 20 – 25 kg.
Each feijoa will contain 20-40 seeds and can be grown from seed easily.
Naming conventions: Both the Apollo and Gemini varieties are named after space missions as their fruit is rocket shaped. Kakapo takes it name from the native parrot. Whereas the dark skin of the Pounamu feijoa is reminiscent of the Pounamu stone.
Feijoas are highly adaptable and will tolerate most soil conditions. Trees prefer all day sun. They should be protected from high winds. Frost hardy down to -10ºC. They are very shallow rooted and love mulch and a good feed in early spring and summer.
Some varieties are self fertile, others require pollen from another variety to fruit. Almost all varieties will will fruit better with cross pollination with the exception of Unique. Pollen is transferred by birds such as thrushes and blackbirds.
Pests may include Leaf Rollers, Scale, Thrips or Sooty Mould
Prune/trim after it has finished fruiting. They respond well to hard pruning as an unpruned tree will loose vigour over time. Pruning will promote earlier fruiting.
Remove any weak, damaged or crossed branches back to the main branch. Thin to allow bird pollination of flowers.
Feijoas as Hedges
Feijoa grown from seed are generally bushier and therefore better for hedging
Good hedging varieties include: Anatoki, Apollo, Kaiteri, Kakariki, Karamea, Mammoth, Triumpgh, Unique, Opal Star.
Anatoki – Big fruit. Very early fruiting. Large, round, sweet fruit. Vigorous growth with a compact habit. Attractive dark green leaves. Mild flavour.
Antoinette – Early season fruiting. Large sweet fruit. Does not bruise easily. *PVR
Apollo – big fruit. Mid season fruiting. Semi self-fertile. Grows to 2.5m tall, vigorous, productive, medium to large oval fruit. Excellent flavour, slightly gritty. Bruises easily.
Arhart – Early season fruiting. Large sweet and juicy light green oval fruit. *PVR
Bambina – Mid season fruiting. Dwarf variety, tiny fruit with edible skin. Can be grown in a pot. Requires a pollinator *PVR
Den’s Choice – Mid season fruiting. Excellent cropper. Sweet, smooth, juicy fruit with light green skin. Medium to large fruit. Medium sized tree. Self fertile, but works better with a cross pollinator.
Gemini – Early season fruiting. Excellent storage. Strong flavour, slightly gritty. Self fertile, but does better with a cross pollinator.
Golden Goose – Mid season fruiting. Large, sweet, juicy fruit with light green skin. Heavy cropping variety. Large tree. Requires pollination.
Huia – Early fruiting season. Heavy crop of large fruit. Older variety
Kaiteri – Big fruit. Very early fruiting. Fast growing with very large sweet fruit. Requires a pollinator
Kakapo – Mid season fruiting. Medium sized fruit. Compact open growing habit with pale green foliage. Self fertile.
Kakariki – Big fruit. Very early fruiting. Fast growing. Very large sweet fruit. Requires a pollinator.
Karamea – Mid season fruiting. Upright stocky growth. Excellent for hedging. Requires a pollinator. Medium to large. sweet and juicy fruit with dark green skin.
Mammoth – Mid to late season fruiting. Round to oval soft medium sized fruit. Skin thick and slightly wrinkled. Gritty pulp with excellent flavour. Grows up to 3m. Slightly self fertile but will fruit better with a pollinator (such as Truimph)
Marion – Mid season fruiting. Upright habit with strong branches. Requires a pollinator. Excellent storage. medium to large, juicy, gritty fruit.
Opal Star – Late season fruiting. Medium sized fruit with mild, sweet and juicy flavour. Bushy habit makes this an excellent choice for hedges. Compact and slow growing. Requires a pollinator *PVR
Pounamu – Early fruiting season. Upright and spreading growing. Medium sized fruit with tangy flavour. Dark skinned fruit. Excellent storage. Requires pollination
Sellowiana – Late season fruit. Original variety with an open growing habit. Medium sized fruit. Self fertile
Triumph – Late season fruit. Medium to large oval fruit with firm rough skin. Very juicy sharp flavour, slightly gritty. Requires a pollinator. (Excellent pollinator for Mammoth). Excellent storage. Upright growth.
Unique – Early season fruit. Prolific medium sized mildly sweet and juicy fruit with rough skin. Excellent keeper. Truly self fertile.
White Goose – Late season fruiting. Extra large fruit. Golden green skin. Excellent keeper, *PVR
Wiki Tu – Big fruit. Late season fruit. Dwarf tree with large fruit Slow growing. Mild flavoured meaty fruit. *PVR
*PVR – Plant Variety Rights: These plants are protected under PVR giving the breeder of that variety exclusive rights to grow, propagate and sell.