Imagine if there really was a Willy Wonka. Imagine if he created a tree out of candy. Something of fantasy and fruitiness. Well, have I got a golden ticket for you. Coming to us from South America is the fascinating Feijoa sellowiana commonly known as the Pineapple Guava. Feijoa sellowiana is an evergreen shrub or tree that produces exotically sweet and tangy fruits that resemble small, smooth-skinned avocados. The fruit beneath the skin tastes like a fruity mélange of pineapple, mint, and strawberry with a touch of lemon. Sounds like something Willy Wonka might conjure up. Though the fruit is tasty, it's the flowers that give me goosebumps. They are so super fantastical!
But wait, there's more. These super cool 1 inch flowers are not just gorgeous clusters of ruby red stamens crowning creamy pink curls of marshmallow-like petals. The flower petals are edible. The taste is somewhat reminiscent of fresh and fruity pieces of chewing gum. How's that for Willy Wonka! I've even seen it suggested that the petals are delicious in fruit salads and preserves.
Feijoa sellowiana can grow up to around 12 feet tall and wide. It produces fuzzy green-grey foliage on stems that take on a cinnamon color as they mature. Feijoa sellowiana give gardens a tropical or mediterranean vibe. Flowers pop open in spring and fruit fills the branches by fall.
This is the kind of fruit tree that gives and gives. Beauty, bounty, and tastiness. This shrub/tree likes warm, full sun situations, well-draining, fertile soil, and regular water for bountiful fruiting. It's hardy down to around 25 degrees fahrenheit/-3 degrees celsius. If the fruit is not your thing, then cutting back on water is not a problem. This shrub/tree can become drought tolerant once established. It also makes a great destination plant for birds, bees, and butterflies. So if you want to get all Willy Wonka in your garden situation, seriously consider the floral and fruity fantasia of the epically exotic Feijoa sellowiana.