Feijoa sellowiana (syn. Acca sellowiana)

This species is native to Brazil and Uruguay. It has been cultivated since 1815. It is a pity that it is not commonly grown in the home. It is more usually cultivated in the greenhouse, although it is an undemanding plant. It is an evergreen shrub or, less often, a small tree with silvery twigs and buds. The leaves are opposite, elliptic to ovate, 3-8 cm (1-3 in) long and 2-4 cm wide. They are dark green on the upper surface and white on the underside. The silvery colouring is very attractive, but the flowers are the most decorative feature. These grow singly from the axils of the leaves and measure about 4 cm (1 ½ in) across. The four, spoon-like petals are white with a red centre. The stamens, which may be up to 25 mm long, have carmine-red filaments and yellow anthers. The fruit is a yellow-green, ovoid berry, 5 cm (2 inch) long with remnants of the calyx at the tip. It has a pleasant, pear-like taste.

It requires plenty of light and a high temperature in summer and cool conditions in winter. Propagation is difficult because cuttings do not root very easily.

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