Weedy in landscaping and spreading into hammocks and pinelands. Has become dominant in the understory of some cypress strands. Forms thickets and has a serious impact in native forests and open woodlands. Present as a weed in 20 countries; a common to serious pest in 9 of these. Along with the strawberry guava and the Surinam cherry, also serves as a major host for the naturalized Caribbean fruit fly, Anastrepha suspensa (Loew), whuich occasionally spreads to commercial citrus crops (Nguyen et al. 1993).Listed as a category I invasive species by Florida Exotic Pest Plant council (FLEPPC).
Evergreen shrub or small tree to 9 m (30 ft) tall, with scaly greenish-brown bark and young branches 4- angled, pubescent. Leaves 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. Flowers white, fragrant, to 4 cm (1.6 in) wide, borne singly or a few together at leaf axils; many stamens. Fruits an oval or pear-shaped berry, 3-10 cm (1-4 in) long, yellow at maturity, with yellow or dark pink flesh somewhat dull in taste; seeds numerous.
May be confused with the Strawberry guava (see Strawberry guava for description).
Introduced early to Florida, naturalized by 1765 (DeBrahm 1773). Planted extenseively for edible fruit and ornament.
Found in Florida from Pinellas and Brevard counties south to the Keys (Nelson 1994).
Do not plant. Remove root systems and seedlings.