10 Animals That Are In Danger Of Becoming Extinct Guava: Member of Myrtle Family

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Guava: Member of Myrtle Family

Guava is a plant of the myrtle family scientifically known as Myrtaceae. It is represented by a ghost Psidium with 100 species of two tropical and small trees. They are native to Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. They are now established in the tropics and subtropical regions of Southeast Asia, Hawaii, the Caribbean, Florida and Africa. The type of guava that you often encounter is the Apple guava variety.

Guavas are typical plants with hard and dark leaves. The leaves are arranged opposite the stem and are elliptic, to measure 5-15 cm long. The flowers are white with five petals and many stamens. The genera Accara and Feijoa is already in the ghost Psidium. They are often used as food plants by the larvae of many lepidopteran insects. Bacteria Erwinia psidii cause rot disease in Apple Guavas. The fruits are enjoyed by humans, many animals and birds. Animals help in dispersing guava seeds over long distances with their breaths. In some tropical areas including Hawaii many varieties have become invasive species. Several species have also joined the category of rare species due to habitat destruction. One species even the Jamaican Guava has been completely destroyed.

Guava trees are used for smoking meat in Hawaii. They are also used in barbecue competitions in America. Cuba leaves are also used in barbecues, providing flavor and aroma to meat. They are cultivated in many tropical and subtropical countries for their edible and superior fruits. Several species are cultivated for commercial purposes only. Apple Guava is available as a very popular variety on a commercial basis all over the world. Mature trees of many species can tolerate temperatures as low as 5°C but young seedlings fail to survive. They are also grown as ornamental plants in temperate regions. Guava fruits are about 4-12 cm long or round depending on the species. The skin is usually hard with a bitter or sweet taste. When unripe the fruits are usually green but they turn yellow, maroon or green when they are fully ripe. The fruits have an aroma similar to that of lemon rind but not as sharp. Pulp can be sweet or sour and white to pink in color.

In Hawaii the fruit is eaten with soy sauce and vinegar. Sometimes sugar and black pepper are also added with soy sauce and vinegar to improve the taste. In India and Pakistan the fruit is usually eaten raw or mixed with salt or pepper. Fruit is often used to make fruit salads. In Asia guava pieces are often dipped in prune powder before eating. As the fruit has high levels of pectin they are used in making candies, preserves, jellies, jams, marmalades. They are sometimes included in the category of superfruits because they are rich sources of dietary fiber, vitamins A and C, folic acid, and the minerals potassium, copper and manganese. They contain four times as much vitamin C as oranges. They have both guavas in both carotenoids and polyphenols. They have been part of human medicine since ancient times. Extracts obtained from Apple Guava are used against cancer, bacterial infections, inflammation and pain. The essential oil obtained from guava also has some anticancer properties. The leaves are used to cure diarrhea. The bark is believed to have antimicrobial and astringent properties.

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