Acca (Feijoa) sellowiana - Pineapple Guava

 

Quince: Cydonia oblonga

Introduction

The quince is now the only member of the genus Cydonia, the three shrubby quinces previously included are now classified in Chaenomeles. Quince has previously been classified as Pyrus cydonia and Cydonia vulgaris.

The native region of the quince is not precisely known, but it is probably wild only in parts of Asia including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkestan, Iran and Saudi Arabia. It has been cultivated in Mediterranean regions for millennia and has become naturalised in many parts; the fruit was highly regarded by the Greeks and Romans, and was the ‘golden apple’ that Paris awarded to Aphrodite as a symbol of love, marriage and fertility. It is still an important fruit crop in its native region and in South America (Argentina produces 20,000 tons annually).

It was introduced to Britain at an early date (first accounts of its cultivation are from 1275) and was commonly grown in the 16th-18th centuries, when it was usually used for making quince marmalade. Its cultivation reached a peak here in the 18th & 19th centuries, then declined with the increase in popularity of soft fruits.

Description

The quince is a deciduous thornless shrub or small tree, 4-6 m (13-20 ft) high and 3-4.5 m (10-15 ft) spread, with crowded gnarled branches and a low crooked habit. Young branchlets are covered with a pale greyish wool.

Leaves are oval or elliptical, 5-10 cm (2-4”) long by 4-6 cm (1.6-2.2”) wide, untoothed, dark green above, pale with a dense felt of grey wool beneath (especially when young). They turn a rich yellow in autumn.

Flowers are 5 cm (2”) across, pink or white, solitary at the end of short twigs, produced in May or early June, after the leaves. Trees are self-fertile, with a good fruit set in both cool and hot climates; pollination is via bees.

Fruits are light golden-yellow, green or orange, usually pear shaped (but sometimes round and apple-shaped - sometimes classified as cv ‘Maliformis’) and very fragrant. The fruit pulp is firm, aromatic and always contains gritty cells. Individual fruits can weight up to ½ Kg (1 lb) or more, and ripen late in the autumn. Fruits contain seeds which are poisonous.

Quinces are generally hardy to zone 4-6 (-15 to -25°C), but have a low chilling requirement (much less than most apples) - 100 to 450 hours below 7°C in order to flower. Although this is less than pears, they flower later in the spring than pears, because some vegetative growth must occur before the flowers appear.

Uses

Quinces have long been grown for flavouring apple pies, ices and confections. In warm temperate and tropical regions, the fruits can become soft, juicy, and suitable for eating raw; but in cooler temperate areas like Britain, they do not ripen so far. Here, raw quince fruits are hard, gritty, harsh and astringent, but after a few weeks of storage the flesh softens and astringency decreases to a point where some people find them edible.

Most people prefer to eat quinces after cooking, though. They are delicious stewed, baked, made into fruit butter etc - almost anything that can be done with apples can be done with quinces, and they need a similar length of cooking as apples; only add sugar after they become soft and start to change colour. A single slice added to an apple pie is enough to add a subtle flavour. Quince flesh turns pink when cooked.

Individual fruits can baked in halves, with the juice becoming a pink syrup in the dish. Other recommendations are to add a few slices to roasting meats of a little cooked quince to casseroles.

Quinces contain high levels of pectin, which ensures that any jelly made with them in will set easily. Quince jelly is a popular recipe. Quince paste is still widely made in France (‘cotignac’) and Spain (‘membrilo’), while in Argentina and Chile a quince spread (‘dulce de membrilo’) is made.

The average nutritional composition of quince fruit is (per 100g edible portion):

Water 83.8%                 Vitamin A 40 IU
Protein 0.4 g                  Vitamin B1 (thiamin) 0.02 mg
Fat 0.1 g                        Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.03 mg
Carbohydrate 15.3 g      Vitamin C 15-20 mg
Calcium 11 mg
Phosphorus 17 mg         Iron 0.7 mg
Potassium 197 mg         Sodium 4 mg

Wine and cider can be made from the fruit. The wine was popular when quinces were very common in Britain in the 19th century, the wine reputed to benefit asthma sufferers.

In Medieval times, quince marmalade was popular in Britain. This required peeled and quartered fruits which were boiled in red wine, strained, boiled again in honey and spiced wine, then after cooling and setting, sliced into pieces and served as a dessert in the same way as ‘Membrillo’ (quince jelly) is in Spain today.

Quinces have long been used as a herbal medicine, as an infusion to treat sore throat, diarrhoea and haemorrhage of the bowel. It is effective against inflammation of the mucous membranes, intestines and stomach. They are also used in the cosmetic industry and for medicinal cosmetics. Long used in Chinese medicine, the stembark is used as an astringent for ulcers, and the fruits used for their antivinous, astringent, carminative and peptic qualities. The seeds, soaked or boiled in water, release the mucilage from the seed coat and make a jelly-like consistency, which has been used for sore throats and eye lotions.

The fruits are so fragrant that a single fruit can fill a room with its rich fruity scent; indeed, quinces were once popular as room deodorisers.

Mucilage obtained from the seed coat is used as a gum arabic substitute to add gloss to a material (the seeds contain 20% mucilage).

Quince leaves contain 11% tannin and can be used for tanning.

Bees feed on nectar from the flowers in May and/or June.

Quinces are very widely used as pear rootstocks, and have been so used at least since the 14th century in France. Numerous clonal selections have been made for modern use, including the well-known Quince A, B and C.

Cultivation

Quinces grow and fruit readily in Southern England and succeeds as far north as Yorkshire with a sunny sheltered site. Almost any soil is suitable (a deep moist fertile loam is ideal), but shelter and sun are important; very alkaline soils usually cause chlorosis. Trees do tolerate quite deep shade but are unlikely to crop there.

Quinces can be trained to a single trunk to make a small tree, or can be grown as a bush with multiple stems; space trees 4.5-6 m (15-20 ft) apart. In less favoured districts it can be trained as a fan or espalier against a wall. Trees only need staking for a few years. Quince rootstocks can themselves be used for quince - Quince A or Quince C making a slightly dwarfed tree. Pear rootstocks make a larger tree. Rootstocks are not essential, though, although trees on their own roots may sucker.

Trees are self-fertile, and generally very reliable croppers, but many commercial growers believe that yields benefit from cross-fertilisation. ‘Meeches Prolific’ and ‘Vrajna’ flower at the same time and cross pollinate well.

Trees may need occasional moderate feeding, but in rich soils this may be very occasional or unnecessary.

Fruits turn from green to yellow as they ripen. They should be left on the tree as long as possible to achieve the best flavour, but must be picked before frosts; October or early November in Britain. The fruit stem lacks a well-defined abscission layer, so fruit should be cut from the tree to avoid tearing the stem out of the flesh. Handle the fruit carefully - although hard, they bruise easily.

Good yields are 15 Kg (33 lb) per tree at 7-8 years after planting, equivalent to 7.5 tonnes/ha (3 tons/acre) for trees planting at 4.5 m (15 ft) apart. Most cultivars start cropping at about 5 years of age.

To store fruit, lay them in a single layer, preferably not touching, on slats or straw-lined trays, and keep in a cool dry shed; they should store for 2-3 months. Don’t store them near apples or other fruit as these will gain a quincey flavour.

Initial framework training consists of winter pruning to cut back leaders by a third of the season’s growth to an outward bud; fruit is carried on spurs and on tips of the previous summer’s growth, and after initial framework training, almost no pruning is required; the minimum of winter pruning should be carried out to remove any dead wood and keep the centre of the tree open..

Quinces are generally free of pests and diseases. They can sometimes suffer from:

Propagation

Propagation is possible by several methods:

Cultivars

Bereczcki: Synonym for Vrajna.

Champion: Bears heavy crops of large, roundish to pear-shaped, greenish-yellow fruits of delicate flavour. Flesh yellow, tender, only slightly astringent. Fruits at a young age; mid season ripening. Tree vigorous, very productive, bears at an early age.

Cooke’s Jumbo (Syn. Jumbo): Fruit very large, pear-shaped, yellowish-green; flesh white. Early ripening.

Dwarf Orange: Low bushy tree growing 3-4.5 m (10-15 ft) high. Fruit large, golden-yellow. Early ripening.

Gamboa: Fruit pear-shaped, bright yellow; flesh yellowish-white, turning purple-red on cooking, flavour sweeter than most. Tree small, very dense, originated in Portugal.

Le Bourgeaut: Bears small, round, apple-shaped fruits. Early ripening - early October.

Lescovacz: Bears large fruits, roundish-pear shaped.

Ludovic: Similar to ‘Vrajna’.

Maliformis: Bears fruit the size and shape of a small apple. Tree attractive, with small fresh-looking leaves. Fruits ripen well in colder climates.

Meeches Prolific: Selected 150 years ago by an American enthusiast. Fruits bright golden-yellow, pear shaped, of excellent flavour, less downy than most, early ripening - a week before Vrajna; fruit borne at an early age (3 years). Good heavy cropper, vigorous, slow growing. The fruits keep well.

Morava: A recent Yugoslavian cultivar with large fruits (335 g = 12 oz) of good quality and easily peeled. Precocious and high yielding - 15 Kg (33 lb) per tree.

Orange (Syn. Apple quince): fruit large to very large (sometimes over 450 g, 1 lb), round, smooth skinned, bright yellow. Flesh very tender, yellow-orange turning red on cooking, excellent flavour. Good in cooler summer regions.

Perfume: Fruits large to very large, oval-square, skin waxy, glossy bright yellow, very fragrant; good flavour. Tree has pink blossoms.

Pineapple: Bred in California. Fruit large, smooth, round, light golden-yellow; very fragrant, white, tender flesh with only slight astringency. Named for the pineapple-like flavour it imparts to jelly. Can be cooked without the addition of water.

Portugal (Syn. Lusitanica): Flowers are large, pale rose, ornamental. Fruits are bumpy and irregular (oblong-pear shaped), 10 cm (4”) long and 9 cm (3½”) wide at the thickest part, tapering to the stalk; skin deep yellowish-orange, covered with grey down; mild flavour, juicier than most. Fruit ripens earlier than most. Slow to start cropping and shy bearing. Has a variable growth habit, the trees looking somewhat gangly with large, untidy looking leaves. Very vigorous, becoming large and spreading; not quite so hardy as some.

Siebosa: Makes a compact tree. Fruits squat pear-shaped.

Smyrna: Of Turkish origin. Fruits large to very large, furrowed, oblong/pear-shaped, golden-yellow, very aromatic. Flesh mild, tender, light yellow, excellent quality. Fruits keep very well. Moderately vigorous tree with unusually large leaves.

Van Deman: Fruit large, oblong-pear shaped, bright yellow-orange; flesh pale yellow with a good, spicy flavour. Early ripening. Heavy bearing & hardier than most cultivars.

Vrajna (Syn. Bereczcki): Originating from near Vrajne in Southern Serbia. Fruits very large, pear-shaped, very fragrant, a clear shiny gold, with a softer flesh than many, excellent flavour. Fruits borne at an early age (4-6 years). Good cropper. Suited to fan training; very vigorous, erect growth.

Suppliers

A.R.T., 46 Hunters Moon, Dartington, Totnes, Devon, TQ9 6JT.

Keepers Nursery, Gallants Court, Gallants Lane, East Farleigh, Maidstone, Kent, ME15 OLE. Tel: 01622-726465.

Goscote Nurseries Ltd, Syston Road, Cossington, Leics, LE7 4UZ.

Paul Jasper, The Lighthouse, Bridge Street, Leominster, Herefordshire, HR6 8DU. Email: pjasper253@aol.com.

J Tweedie Fruit Trees, Maryfield Road Nursery, Maryfield, Nr Terregles, Dumfries, Scotland, DG2 9TH. Tel: 01387-720880.

The following North American nurseries supply most of the cultivars available there:

Hidden Springs Nursery, 170 Hidden Springs Lane, Cookeville, TN 38501, USA. Tel: 615-268-9889.

Louisinana Nursery, Rt.7, Box 43, Opelousas, LA 70570, USA. Tel: 318-948-3696.

L E Cooke Co, 26333 Road 140, Visalia, CA 93292. (Wholesale only).

Northwoods Retail Nursery, 27635 S.Oglesby Rd, Canby, OR 97013, USA. Tel: 503-266-5432.

References

Bazeley, B: Growing Tree Fruits. Collins, 1990.

Bean, W J: Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles. John Murray, 1973.

Duke, J A & Ayensu, E S: Medicinal Plants of China. Reference Publications, 1985.

Facciola, S: Cornucopia. Kampong Publications, 1990.

Hills, L: The Good Fruit Guide. HDRA, 1984.

Krussmann, G: Manual of Cultivated Broad-Leaved Trees and Shrubs. Batsford, 1985.

Lanska, D: The Illustrated Guide to Edible Plants. Chancellor Press, 1992.

Roach, F: Cultivated Fruits of Britain. Blackwell, 1985.

Rombough, L: Fruits for the Kitchen. Horticulture, November 1996, pp 50-53.

Simmons, A: Simmons Manual of Fruit. David & Charles, 1978.

Weiss, R: Aphrodite’s Golden Apple. The Garden, November 1994, pp 546-547.

Westwood, M N: Temperate-Zone Pomology. Timber Press, 1993.

Whealy, K & Demuth, S: Fruit, Berry and Nut Inventory. Seed Saver Publications, 1993.

 

Agroforestry News details

Home page  


Acca (Feijoa) sellowiana:

the Pineapple guava

Introduction

The Feijoa or pineapple guava (Acca or Feijoa sellowiana)  is a  relative of the tropical guava, and is native to extreme southern Brazil, northern Argentina, western Paraguay and Uruguay where it grows wild in the mountains.  It is cultivated in the highlands of Chile and other southern American countries, in southern and western Europe, in India in home gardens at temperate elevations, in New Zealand (producing some 400 tonnes per year) and California (where some 400 hectares/1000 acres are planted); also in Georgia (former USSR) where over 1000 ha (2500 acres) are cultivated.

Description

The plant is a bushy evergreen shrub, 0.9-6 m (3-20 ft) or more in height, usually 2-4 m (6-13 ft) high, much branched, with pale grey bark.  Spreading forms can spread as wide as they are high.

Leaves are opposite, short-stalked, bluntly elliptical, thick and leathery, 28-62 mm long by 16-28 mm wide.  They are smooth and glossy dark green on the upper surface and silvery-hairy beneath.

The flowers are conspicuous, 4 cm (1½”) across, borne singly or in clusters from leaf axils of the previous years growth, with 4 fleshy oval petals which are white outside and purplish-red inside.  Within are a cluster of erect purple stamens with golden-yellow anthers.  Some selections are self-fertile, others require cross pollination.

The fruit is oblong or slightly pear shaped, 4-7 cm (1½-3”) long and 2.5-5 cm (1-2”) wide, with a waxy skin about 7 mm (0.25”) thick.  The fruits remain a dull green or yellowish-green until maturity, with a ‘bloom’ of fine whitish hairs and sometimes with a red or orange blush.  The fruit emits a strong long-lasting perfume, even before it is fully ripe.  When cut open the fruit has an edible creamy flesh and gelatinous pulp.

Within the fruits are 20-40, sometimes more, very small oblong seeds.

Uses

Fruits are aromatic and the better ones are delicious.  The fruit flesh is thick, white, granular and juicy – translucent in the middle where it surrounds the seeds – and is sweet or subacid with a pineapple and strawberry flavour.  The small seeds are hardly noticeable when the fruit is eaten.  When cut, the flesh rapidly discolours from oxidations and turns brown – to prevent this, fruits can be dipped in a weak salt or lemon juice solution.

The flesh and pulp (with seeds) are eaten raw as dessert or in salads, or are cooked in puddings, pastries, cakes, pies or tarts.  They are also used as flavouring for ice cream and soft drinks.  Surplus fruits can be peeled, halved and reserved in jars, or made into chutney, jam, jelly, sauces or sparkling wine.

Fresh fruits contain (per 100 g portion):

Protein                     0.9%                        Potassium             166 mg

Fat                           0.2%                        Sodium                    5 mg

Carbohydrate         10%                         Calcium                    4 mg

Niacin                      high                         Phosphorus            10 mg

Vitamin C               28-35 mg (high)       Iron                          0.05 mg

 

Fruits are high in pectin (up to 20%), and those grown near the sea are also rich in water-soluble iodine compounds.

 The thick petals are spicy and are eaten fresh.  They can be picked without interfering with fruit set.

 The leaves, fruits (primarily seeds) and stems all have antibacterial properties.  The fruits also show antioxidant properties.

 In New Zealand, growers sometimes use the plant as a windbreak around other wind-sensitive crops.

 The wood is hard, dense and brittle.

Cultivation

The Feijoa likes a warm temperate or subtropical climate with a cool season.  It can withstand winter temperatures of -10°C (15°F), some drought and is humidity tolerant.  A hardiness survey in Britain revealed that in zone 7 areas (winter min –12 to -17°C), some leaves and/or stem tips become scorched, while in zone 6 areas (-18 to -22°C), bushes are cut to the ground but regenerate well the following spring.  Shelter is desirable as wind can cause fruit bruising and brittle wood to break.  The flavour of the fruit is much better in cool than in warm regions.  Sudden autumn frosts can damage ripening fruit.  A flush of new growth occurs in the spring.

 The shrub prefers a rich organic well-drained soil and prefers acid soils.  It is drought-resistant but needs adequate water for fruit production.  The optimum annual rainfall is 760-1500 mm (30-60”).  It tolerates partial shade (though fruiting will be reduced) and some exposure to salt spray.

 In England, the pineapple guava is often grown as a wall shrub.  Here it only flowers profusely in sunny locations and ripens fruit in favoured locations.

 Plants should be spaced at 4-5.5 m (13-18 ft) apart to allow for spread and good fruit production, unless erect selections are used when the spacing can be reduced; a typical commercial plantation may have 5-6 m (16-20 ft) between rows and plants 3-3.5 m (10-12 ft) in the row.  Fruit is borne on the young wood, so pruning reduces the crop and is kept to a minimum; light pruning after harvest can encourage new growth if necessary, and thinning of dense plants makes for easier harvesting.  An open tree (central leader or goblet shaped)  is desirable to allow birds access to pollinate and for easy harvest.  Shoots within 30 cm (12”) of the ground should be removed; the best fruiting branches are those at 20-30° to the horizontal, and these should be 30 cm (1 ft) apart.  The plants have a shallow fibrous root system and soil cultivation around them after establishment is inadvisable.

 Barrier hedges have plants spaced at 1.5-2 m (5-6 ft) apart, but fruiting capacity in these will be much reduced especially if/when hedges are trimmed (plants respond well to trimming).

 There are few pests or diseases of note.  Various scale insects can attack the plant, and fruit flies can attack ripe fruits.

 Flowering occurs in July in England (June in France, May in California).

 Bees are the main pollinators, although birds which are attracted to eat the petals can also aid pollination.  Most flowers pollinated with compatible pollen show 60-90% fruit set; hand pollination is nearly 100% effective.  Poor bearing is usually the result of inadequate pollination and two cultivars should be grown together unless you are sure of self-fertility.  Good pollination produces many seeds which in turn leads to larger and better-shaped fruit and a higher proportion of pulp.

 For fruit production, any fertiliser used on a fertile soil should be low in nitrogen so as not to stimulate too much vegetative growth.  Potassium is likely to be the main nutrient required, with up to 10g/m2 required per year.  Similar fertilisers should be used as for other heavy fruiting trees such as apples etc.  Manure, compost and comfrey are all very suitable.

 In hot dry spells, when the plants are carrying fruit, they should be watered and mulched.

 With some varieties, eg. Apollo, fruit thinning may be useful to achieve larger fruits.  Thin in summer when the fruits approach the size of a blackbirds egg.  100-120 fruit of a tree 1.8 m (6 ft) high is sufficient.  Take off damaged or misshapen fruit, then reduce to 2-3 fruit per cluster and remove any that will rub against a branch.

 Fruits mature 18-26 weeks after flowering (depending on the cultivar), and ripen over several weeks.  The fruits fall when mature and are usually collected daily from the ground and kept cool until slightly soft to the touch.  A straw mulch, large cloths/tarpaulins, or suspended catching nets are often used beneath the plants to help avoid bruising, to which fruits are susceptible.  Alternatively, mature fruits can be picked from the tree: a slight colour change (to a lighter green), softening, and easily detached fruits are ready to pick – although if picked from the tree before they are ready to fall, or if eaten before fully ripe, the fruits won’t have their full richness of flavour.  In Europe, fruits usually mature in November.

 In New Zealand test plantings, yields have averaged:

                3rd year                    6 kg/plant (13.2 lb/plant)                4 t/ha (1.6 tons/acre)

                4th year                    12 kg/plant (16.5 lb/plant)              8 t/ha (3.2 tons/acre)

                5th year                    18 kg/plant (40 lb/plant)                12 t/ha (4.8 tons/acre)

projected full crop (10 yrs)     30 kg/plant (66 lb/plant)                25 t/ha (10 tons/acre)

 Trees remain productive for at least 30-40 years, and then can be rejuvenated by drastic pruning.

 In a warm atmosphere, the interior of fruits turns brown and decays in 3-4 days.  In cold humid storage, undamaged fruits remain in good conditions for 4-5 weeks at 3-5°C and 2-3 weeks at 10°C.

Cultivars

Andre: Fruits medium-large, oblong to round, rough, light green; thick flesh with few seeds, rich flavour and very aromatic.  Self-fertile, heavy cropper.

 Apollo: Fruit medium-large, oval, light green, smooth thin skin, susceptible to bruising; flesh slightly gritty, very pleasant flavour, good quality.  Ripens mid-late season.  Plant upright, spreading, to 2.5 m (8 ft) tall, vigorous, productive, self-fertile.  From New Zealand.

 Beechwood: Fruits medium sized, elliptical, skin fairly smooth, dark green; good flavour.  Tree self-fertile.  Origin: California.

 Besson: Fruits small-medium, oval, smooth, with red or maroon cheek, thin skinned; flesh medium-thick, fine-grained, very juicy, numerous seeds, rich aromatic flavour.

 Bliss:  Plant is partly self-fertile.

 Choiceana: Fruits round-oval, fairly smooth, small-medium, of good flavour.  Ripens mid season. Spreading plant of moderate vigour; partly self-fertile.

 Coolidge:  Fruits oblong or pyriform, medium size, crinkled skin; flesh of average flavour, poor keeper.  Plant upright, strong growing, heavy bearer, highly self-fertile; widely grown in California.

 David: Fruits medium-large, round or oval, skin has sweet and agreeable flavour; flesh of good flavour and fair texture.  Ripens mid season.  Grown in Europe.

 Duffy: Fruits large, round, thin skinned; pulp sweet, low acid; ripens late.  Bush medium sized, erect, vigorous.  An Australian selection.

 Edenvale Improved Coolidge: Fruits large, oblong, very good flavour and quality.  Tree slow growing, self-fertile, precocious and productive; early ripening.  From California.

Edenvale Late:  Fruits medium sized, oblong, very good flavour and quality.  Ripens late over a long period.  Tree slow growing, self-fertile, very productive.  From California.

Edenvale Supreme: Fruits medium sized, oblong, very good flavour and quality.  Ripens mid season; fruit doesn’t store for long.  Tree slow growing, self-fertile, precocious, productive.  From California.

Gemini: Fruits small-medium sized, egg shaped, skin very smooth, thin, dark green with a heavy bloom.  Flavour and texture excellent.  Ripens early.  Tree moderately vigorous, to 2.5 m (8 ft) tall, part self-fertile, high yielding.  From New Zealand.

Hehre: Fruits large, slender-pyriform, yellowish-green, thin skinned; flesh finely granular, very juicy, sweet, not aromatic, numerous large seeds.  Seedlings erect, compact, vigorous, with lush foliage but only moderately productive.

Hirschvogel:  Plant is highly self-fertile.

Jackson: Fruit medium sized, thick skinned; flesh dry, strong flavour, nearly seedless.  Origin: California.

Lickver’s Pride:  Fruits large, round; very sweet, rich flavour.  Tree rounded, self-fertile.  Origin: California.

Magnifica:  Fruits very large but of inferior quality.

Mammouth: Fruits large, round to oval, somewhat wrinkled, thick skin;  flesh somewhat gritty, quality and flavour very good, poor keeper.  Early-mid season.  Plant of upright habit, vigorous, to 3 m (10 ft) tall; part self-fertile.  A seedling of Choiceana widely grown in New Zealand.

Moore: Fruits large, of good flavour, ripens mid season.  Plant very vigorous.  Grown in California.

Nazemetz: Fruits large (80g), pear shaped, side walls moderately thin.  Flavour and quality excellent.  Ripens mid to late season over a long period.  Unusually, the pulp does not darken after being cut or as it ripens.  Tree part self-fertile.  From California.

Pineapple Gem: Fruits small, round, good quality; mid to late season.  Tree part self-fertile, dislikes coastal conditions.

 Robert:  Fruits medium sized, oval; flesh very juicy, somewhat gritty, mild flavour.  Ripens very early.  Leaves brownish.  Needs cross pollination.

 Roundjon: Fruit oval or rounded, somewhat rough-skinned and red blushed.  Good flavour.  Grown in Europe.

 Smilax:  Fruits small-medium, round; flesh sweet, fine flavour – clear pulp extends almost to skin.  Tree short, bushy, self-fertile.  Origin: California.

 Superba:  Fruits small-medium, round to oval, quite smooth, of good flavour.  Plant spreading, straggly habit, medium vigour; partly self-fertile.

 Trask: A bud sport of Coolidge.  Fruits medium to large (80-140g), skin dark green and rough, flavour and quality very good.  Ripens early.  Tree part self-fertile, precocious.  From California.

 Triumph:  Fruits medium-large, short, oval, plump, smooth; skin firm, uneven; flesh somewhat gritty with an excellent sharp flavour; good keeper.  Plant upright, of medium vigour, mid season ripening, part self fertile.  A seedling of Choiceana widely grown in New Zealand.

 Unique:  Fruits large, oval, smooth skinned, light green; pulp very smooth, good flavour.  Early ripening.  Tree to 2.5 m (8 ft) tall, vigorous, self-fertile, precocious; a regular, heavy bearer.  Origin: New Zealand.

 Propagation

The Feijoa is often grown from seed but does not reproduce absolutely true to type.  Germination takes place in 3 weeks; the seed compost used must be sterile, otherwise many seedlings will die from damping off.  Seed-grown plants fruit in 3-5 years from sowing.

 Cultivars are propagated vegetatively by one of several means.  Vegetatively propagated plant start to fruit in 2 years.

 In France and New Zealand, ground-layering is used, with rooting occurring in 6 months. 

 Air-layering is usually successful too. 

 Grafting (whip and tongue or veneer) onto seedling rootstocks is not very successful. 

 Cuttings can be taken: young wood from branch tips or side shoots with a heel in summer will root in 1-2 months with bottom heat and a hormone rooting agent, given a moist humid atmosphere. 

 Stooling can be practised: good success is achieved by treating stooled shoots by ringing them and using hormone rooting agent before earthing up.

References

Beckett, G & K: Hardiness Survey part 2.  The Plantsman, Vol 5 Part 1, June 1983.

Facciola, S: Cornucopia II.  Kampong Publications, 1998.

Kirk, Bob: Bigger Better Feijoas.  The Tree Cropper, December 1994.

Morley-Bunker, M: Feijoas.  In Temperate and Subtropical Fruit Production, D I Jackson & N E

Looney, CABI Publishing 1999.

Morton, J: Fruits of warm Climates.  Creative Resources Systems Inc, 1987.

 


 

Agroforestry News details

Home page