Feijoa

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Feijoa

 

(also Acca), a genus of shrubby evergreen plants of the family Myrtaceae. There are three known species, growing in subtropical regions of South America. One species, F. sellow-iana, has been cultivated in Europe since the end of the 19th century. It is cultivated in many countries having a subtropical climate. In the USSR the plant is grown in Western Georgia, in the Sochi region, and on the southern coast of the Crimea.

The shrub reaches a height of 3 m and has a dense, spreading crown. The leaves are opposite, entire, and elliptical; the undersides bear silvery hairs and aromatic glandules. The bisexual, axillary flowers have crimson or pink stamens and are solitary, paired, or in inflorescences. Flowering begins in May and continues for about two months. The fruits are dark-green berries with a waxy coating; they are 4–7 cm long and 3–5 cm wide. Their thick, juicy pulp is tart and has the scent of strawberry or pineapple. The berries ripen in October and November. They contain 5.12–10.46 percent sugars, 1.5–3.6 percent malic acid, and about 2.5 percent pectin; there are 2.06–3.9 mg of iodine per kg. The fruits are eaten fresh or in processed form (jam, wine); they keep for no more than a month. Adult plants can withstand temperatures as low as –12°C; they are drought resistant but do not tolerate excessive lime or moisture in the soil. The following high-quality varieties have been developed in the USSR: No. 89-VIR, Nikitskii aromatnyi, and Krymskii rannii.

Propagation is by seed, cuttings, or grafts. Fruiting first occurs in the fourth or fifth year. The yield is about 10 tons per hectare. F. sellowiana is used to beautify parks.

REFERENCES

Ekimov, V. P. Subtropicheskoe plodovodstvo. Moscow, 1955.
Zhukovskii, P. M. Kul’turnye rasteniia i ikh sorodichi, 3rd ed. Leningrad, 1971.

A. D. ALEKSANDROV