Common Name(s): common guava
Non-Native to Florida
Origin: Tropical America1
Introduction to Florida: pre-1765 (agriculture)2
This species appears on the following legally prohibited plant lists
UF/IFAS Assessment of Non-Native Plants in Florida’s Natural Areas
CATEGORY I on the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council’s (FLEPPC) 2017 List of Invasive Plant Species
Download a recognition card (PDF) from Invasive and Non-native Plants You Should Know3
Download a page (PDF) from Identification and Biology of Nonnative Plants in Florida’s Natural Areas – Second Edition1
Control information: Integrated Management of Nonnative Plants in Natural Areas of Florida (EDIS publication SP 242)4
Psidium guajava is frequently found growing in the hammocks and disturbed sites of the central and southern peninsula of Florida (Wunderlin, 2003). Common guava is native to Asia and Australia but escaped cultivation. It blooms all year.
Evergreen shrub or small tree to 9 m (30 ft) tall, with scaly greenish-brown bark and young branches 4-angled, pubescent.
Opposite, simple, short-stalked, entire, oval to oblong-elliptic, to 15 cm (6 in) long; pubescent below, with veins impressed above and conspicuously raised below.
White, fragrant, to 4 cm (1.6 in) wide; borne singly or a few together at leaf axils; many stamens.
An oval or pear-shaped berry, 3–10 cm (1–4 in) long, yellow at maturity; with yellow or dark pink flesh some-what dull in taste; seeds numerous.
Forms thickets and has a serious impact in native forests and open woodlands. Along with the strawberry guava and the Surinam cherry, also serves as a major host for the naturalized Caribbean fruit fly, which occasionally spreads to commercial citrus crops. FLEPPC Category I
C, SW, SE
Field Notations PSIDGUAJ/PSGU
View the herbarium specimen image from the University of Florida Herbarium Digital Imaging Projects.
1. Identification and Biology of Nonnative Plants in Florida’s Natural Areas – Second Edition, by K.A. Langeland, H.M. Cherry, et al. University of Florida-IFAS Publication # SP 257. 2008.
2. From Strangers in Paradise, Impact and Management of Nonindigenous Species in Florida, Chapter 2: Florida’s Invasion by Nonindigenous Plants: History, Screening, and Regulation, by D.R. Gordon and K.P. Thomas, pp. 21-37. Island Press, Washington, DC, 1997.
3. Invasive and Non-native Plants You Should Know – Recognition Cards, by A. Richard and V. Ramey. University of Florida-IFAS Publication # SP 431. 2007.
4. Integrated Management of Nonnative Plants in Natural Areas of Florida, by K. A. Langeland, J. A. Ferrell, B. Sellers, G. E. MacDonald, and R. K. Stocker. University of Florida-IFAS Publication # SP 242. 2011.