Feijoa is a classic backyard fruit beloved by New Zealanders. There are few named varieties and it is a difficult fruit to find at the shops. But why go shopping when this plant is so versatile and easy to grow at home?
Feijoas make a lovely hedge and are easy to prune. Or over time they can grow large enough to be a small evergreen tree. The plant is quite tough once established and will tolerate heat, limited water and frost.
The hedge in the picture above is has five feijoa sellowiana plants. Whereas the tree (right hand picture) is the Mammoth variety. Each plant yields 2-5 kg per year. The fruit harvest lasts over a month, this extended harvest time is handy for a backyard gardener. This year it has been a difficult dry growing season and will reduce the amount of fruit picked.
The size of the fruit varies from the size of a desert spoon to larger than an egg, up to 75mm long. The fruit size and set is quite dependant on how much water the plant receives.
The fruit is similar in colour to the leaves and easy to miss until you get your eye in. It has a light fragrant taste with a hint of pear, soft, moist and can be scooped out by spoon, eaten raw or baked into a feijoa and apple pie.
Feijoas (Feijoa sellowiana) are a type of guava originating from South America, and also called Pineapple Guava.
Feijoas have gorgeous edible red flowers pollinated by birds and bees. There are several other types of guava that will grow in Melbourne, such as cherry and strawberry guavas.