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Amazing Island Nature: the Tropical Guava

Island Nature: the Remarkable, Tropical Guava

by “Island Expert” Frantz François-Haugrin

Guava Fruit

The Island Runaways say: We’re happy to welcome Frantz François-Haugrin as our first Island Expert! Frantz lives on the beautiful island of Martinique, in the French Antilles.

In the Caribbean, you’ll find just a remarkable biodiversity, and one of our greatest natural riches -- which I’d like to share with you today -- is the guava! The guava (Psidium guajava or Myrtus guajava in Latin) originated in the tropics of the Americas. The guava tree can grow as tall as 30 feet or 10 meters, and its wood is extremely hard.

Martinique island tree

One of the ways to spot this particular tree is by the white flowers it produces. When the guava fruits become ripe, they appear golden yellow.

Tropical fruit

Did you know that guavas (or “goyaves” as we call them in French) are rich in Vitamin C? Or that the food industry uses guavas to produce nectar, jelly, and jam, and to make marinades, and as a filling in delicious pastries?

Caribbean island cake

Even the guava tree’s leaves have many uses: as an anti-spasmodic medicine, as an anti-diarrheal, for a hang-over (if you drink too many Ti Punches!), and for skin break-outs. There’s been a great deal of research into the humble guava.

Island Runaways fruit

In my opinion, we should all eat guavas every day.

Don’t you agree?

Thank you very much, Frantz! Merci beaucoup! We had no idea that the guava has so many uses. Looking forward to your next post from Martinique.

Les goyaves

Écrit par “Island Expert” Frantz François-Haugrin

Une des nombreuses richesses de la biodiversité végétale de la Caraïbe : la goyave (Psidium guayava L.) est originaire d'Amérique tropicale. L'arbre peut attendre 10 m de haut, son bois est extrêmement dur, et il produit des fleurs blanches. Les fruits comestibles sont jaunes quand ils sont mûres.

Ils sont riches en vitamine C et utilisés dans l'industrie agroalimentaire pour produire du nectar, de la gelée, de la confiture ou de la marinade, des pâtisserie....

Les feuilles sont utilisées pour leurs propriétés antispasmodique, antidiarréique, contre la gueule de bois, les éruptions cutanées, et font l'objet de nombreux travaux de recherche ... selon moi nous devrions en consommer quotidiennement.

(Photos courtesy of the author, except “Guava Cake” by digipam and “Guava” by Mauro Cateb, from Flickr)

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