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Guavas are commonly cultivated for their sweet taste and fragrance
Apple Guava Tree

Kingdom: Plantae

Division: Magnoliophyta

Class: Magnoliopsida

Subclass: Rosidae

Order: Myrtales

Family: Myrtaceae

Subfamily: Myrtoideae

Tribe: Myteae

Genus: Psidium

Species: P. guajava


Range and Abundance:

The guava is native to Mesoamerica, but has spread to Southeast Asia and the Caribbean where it is both naturalized and cultivated.

Coloration and Morphology:

The guava is a small tree or shrub. Its leaves of the guava tend to be thick, dark, and compound. Round guava fruit can grow between 4 and 12 cm in diameter.

Habitat:

Although the guava originates in the tropics of Mesoamerica, it can also be found in subtropical regions arond the world thanks to both human cultivation and animal seed dispersal. While saplings tend to be less able to stand cold, mature trees can subsist in temperatures as low as 5 degrees Celcius (41 degrees Farenheit).

Ecology:

The guava tree enjoys an ecological niche that other angiosperms of its type have. By producing succulent fruit, the guava entices mammals and birds to eat of it and spread these seeds throughout the tropics.

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Guave fruit hae a sweet scent and a complex flavor

Behavior:

As the guava is a plant, its behavior primarily consists of photosynthesizing, growing, and producing fruit.

Diet:

The guava uses sunlight, water, CO2, and trace elements to produce sugars via photosynthesis.

Interaction with other species:

The guava is commonly cultivated by humans for its sweet taste and use as a fragrance in toiletries. Guava fruit are eaten by both humans and animals alike, bird and small mammals being their primary patrons. The guava leaves are also commonly consumed by catipillars, and the plant as a whole can fall prey to various types of viral and bacterial infections. The Erwinia psidii bacterium, for example, causes rot disease that can destroy entire crops of cultivated guava trees.

The skin of the guava is not typically eaten, but rather is peeled like an orange for the succulent fruit within. Different varieties of cultivated guava give rise to varying tastes, sizes, shapes, and nutritional value.
A guava flower
A guava flower

Guava leaves and wood also have important culinary uses throughout Latin America.

Uses:

Humans use guavas for a variety of purposes, including fragrance oils, juices, and even cookies.

Personal Experiences:

I enjoyed the guava juice while in Costa Rica, although it could have been a little sweeter. The fruit itself was different from what we are used to in the north, but still tasty. Guava cookies are very good.

References:

1. http://www.crfg.org/pubs/ff/guava.html

Guava cookies are a popular Costa Rican snack
Guava cookies are a popular Costa Rican snack