Botanical Name: Psidium cattleyanum
Species: P. cattleyanum
*Episyzygium oahuense Suess. & A.Ludw.
*Eugenia ferruginea Sieber ex C.Presl
*Eugenia oxygona Koidz.
*Eugenia pseudovenosa H.Perrier
*Eugenia urceolata Cordem.
*Guajava cattleiana (Afzel. ex Sabine
Common Names: Strawberry guava, Cattley guava, Chinese cherry guava, Chinese guava, cherry guava, purple guava, purple strawberry guava, red strawberry guava, small guava, strawberry guava, yellow Cattley guava, yellow strawberry guava, Peruvian guava, Thai Guava, Kuahpa, Bella seebai, Konda jamipandu, Malam perakka, Mpera-ngombe, Mpera, Pahadi pijuli, Pahari payara, Porpay, Quwawa ni vavalagi, Seemai koyya
Habitat: Strawberry guava is native to South-east Brazil, but has been naturalized in Florida, Hawai’i, tropical Polynesia, Norfolk Island and Mauritius.
It is now distributed throughout many tropical regions. It was introduced in Hawaii as early as 1825 to create an agricultural market for its fruits, but it has yet to be a commercially viable product. It is now highly prevalent in tropical rain forest ecosystems due mainly to accidental transportation and its invasive plant properties.
Strawberry Cherry is small erect, highly-branched, slow growing evergreen shrub that grows about 2-6 m tall. The plant is normally found growing in sub-montane rainforest, montane cloud forest, montane rainforest, moist tropical montane forest, riparian forest, tropical evergreen forest, deciduous woodland (oak), tropical montane savanna, lowland sub-tropical rainforest, scrubland, grassland, degraded forest, cultivation and agroforestry systems, roadsides, wastelands, pastures, scrubs, forested land and on areas disturbed by natural processes such as storms and lava flows. The plant prefers acid soils and is not sensitive to soil structure. It can grow on shallow or infertile soils. It does, however, requires a well-drained soil and does not tolerate waterlogging. The slender stem and branches are smooth, pinkish, greenish or greyish brown in color. Bark peels off in small papery flakes. Twigs are glabrous and cylindrical, and young leaves and twigs are red in color.
Leaves are opposite and decussate, shortly petiolate (petiole 3–10 mm long), elliptic to obovate, 4.5–12 cm long and 2–6 cm wide, with a blunt to slightly acuminate apex and a cuneiform sharp base. They are thick and coriaceous, upper surface is dark green in color, glossy, waxy, flat or slightly folded around the main rib. The lower surface is glabrous, whitish-green in color, punctuated with small oil cavities, and with the main rib prominent near the base but the 8–10 pairs of lateral ribs is not prominent, forming an intra-marginal rib 1–3 mm from the edge of the limb. Young leaves and twigs are red in color.
The fragrant flowers are axillary and solitary, rarely grouped in 2 or 3. The four to five white petals are obovate, 5–6 mm long and wide. Flowers bear numerous stamens, 256 to 480 according to Raseira and Raseira, and a greenish disc-shaped stigma. Ovary is tri- to penta-locular, mostly tetra-locular. Flowering normally takes place from May.
Fertile flowers are followed by globulous to obovoid berry, 1.5–4 cm in diameter, bearing persistent sepals at the apex. The thin skin is dark green when unripe, and then red to purple for P. cattleianum var. cattleianum and sulfur-yellow for P. cattleianum var. lucidum. Pulp is soft, white or yellow, very juicy and contains several (2–100) small soft seeds. Seeds are reniform, 2–3 mm long, with a yellowish testa. Fruit has a pleasant, strawberry-like flavor when ripe, hence its common name.
The whole fruit can be eaten as both the thin skin and juicy interior are soft and tasty. It can also be used to make jam. The skin is often removed for a sweeter flavour. The seeds are small and white in colour and can be roasted as a substitute for coffee. Its leaves may be brewed for tea.
*Fruit can be consumed raw or cooked.
*Fruit can be used in jellies, jams, custards, drinks etc.
*The flavor is more pronounced than that of the yellow strawberry guava but lacks the muskiness of the common guava.
*Fruit has an agreeable acid-sweet flavor and is good when eaten raw, though it can also be used in preserves.
*Leaves of the tree can also be used to make a tea.
*Strawberry guavas are most often eaten fresh straight from the tree.
*Some cultures have roasted the seeds and used them as a coffee.
*It is also used to flavor beverages, ice creams, and desserts
Strawberry guava seeds have many health benefits, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties in addition to a high amount of Vitamin.
Traditional uses and benefits of Strawberry guava:
*Fruit and leaves are used in traditional medicine against hemorrhage, diarrhea and colic.
*It provides a lot of fiber, which helps with digestive issues and can reduce cholesterol levels.
*It can also help you lose weight.
*It prevents many conditions such as constipation.
*It is very useful for people who suffer from diabetes.
*It is also a powerful antioxidant and can boost immunity, preventing flu, colds and infections.
Other Uses: The wood of the tree is hard, compact, durable, and resistant, and is used for lathe work, tool handles, charcoal, and firewood. The plant is indispensable for mixed planting in reforestation of reclaimed and protected areas in Brazil.
*The plant is grown as a hedge in warm temperate climates.
*Leaves are also a source of essential oils produced after distillation.
*The wood is useful for poles.
*After 3 to 6 years of life, the plant starts to produce fruits.
*The wood is good for smoking meat and can also be made into tools and toys.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.