edible trees & shrubs
edible tree and shrub varieties
feijoa
description
Photo of a Feijoa tree.
Feijoa tree with fruit on it.  Feijoas can be pruned to form hedges but do not need any pruning in order to produce good fruit.

Photo of fruit of a Feijoa tree
Close up of Feijoa fruit. Feijoas do not dramatically change colour when they ripen. They simply turn a slightly lighter shade of green.
Slow growing evergreen tree that can grow three to four metres (12 to 15ft) high and almost as wide. The leaves are thick and leathery with a shiny green colour on top and silvery underneath. It produces bright red flowers in early Summer and the fruit ripen in late Autumn to early Winter, a time when few other fruit trees have ripe fruit.

Fruit
The skin of the fruit is blue to olive green in colour with a waxy feel to it. The shape of the fruit varies from almost round to elongated pear shape and are about five to ten centimetres (2 to 4") long. It has an unusual flavour, having a bitter sweet taste that can best be described as tasting like a tropical fruit salad.  Feijoas do not dramatically change colour when they ripen. They simply turn a slightly lighter shade of green.

Climate
Feijoas come from Southern Brazil and Northern Argentina. They prefer a cooler climate with moderate Summers and cool Winters.  They need about fifty hours of chilling a year to set flowers and fruit.

cultivation
Feijoas will grow in a wide variety of soils, but will do better if the ground is well drained. They are fairly salt tolerate.

The Feijoa pictured here was planted using the same method described on the Planting Citrus Trees web page. While Feijoas will tolerate quite dry conditions crop yields will be improved with irrigation. They don't need fertiliser to produce a good crop but adding some manure will improve the yield.  As they are partially self pollinated you only need one tree to bear fruit,  but if you plant two trees side by side you will get a heavier crop.

Pruning is generally not required, though a light prune just after harvesting will encourage new growth for the next season. When planted close together Feijoas can be pruned into a hedge or screen. They can also be espaliered.