Psidium guajava L., Sp. Pl. (1753)

Latin for the local name of this species.

Guaiava pyrigormis Gaertn.
Guajava pumila (Vahl) Kuntze
Guajava pyrifera (L.) Kuntze
Myrtus guajava (L.) Kuntze
Myrtus guajava var. pyrifera (L.) Kuntze
Psidium angustifolium Lam.
Psidium aromaticum Blanco [Illegitimate]
Psidium cujavillus Burm.f.
Psidium cujavus L.
Psidium fragrans Macfad.
Psidium guajava var. cujavillum (Burm.f.) Krug & Urb.
Psidium guajava var. guajava
Psidium guajava var. minor Mattos
Psidium guava Griseb.
Psidium igatemyense Barb.Rodr.
Psidium intermedium Zipp. ex Blume
Psidium pomiferum L.
Psidium pomiferum var. sapidissimum (Jacq.) DC.
Psidium prostratum O.Berg
Psidium pumilum Vahl
Psidium pumilum var. guadalupense DC.
Psidium pyriferum L.
Psidium pyriferum var. glabrum Benth.
Psidium sapidissimum Jacq.
Psidium vulgare Rich.
Syzygium ellipticum K.Schum. & Lauterb.

Small tree up to 11 m tall and 14 cm dbh. Stipules absent. Leaves opposite, simple, penni-veined, glabrous. Flowers ca. 33 mm diameter, white, placed in leaf axils. Fruits ca. 23 mm diameter, greenish, berries.

In open vegetation types, regrowth, coastal areas, mangroves, keranga forests up to 300 m altitude, often planted near houses or villages. On alluvial sites, riverbanks, hillsides and ridges with clay to limestone soils.

The fruit ripens hard and is widely used in jams and jellies, and as a drink. The leaves die silk black; in mixture with other tannin-rich leaves in coconut milk, the are include in a decoction against diarrhea and worms, and for skin complaints. The wood is tough and has been used for instruments; it makes good charcoal.

Originally from Central America, but currently widely distributed throughout tropical Asia and Australia. In Borneo collected in Sarawak, Sabah, South- and East-Kalimantan.

Local names
Borneo: Balabas, Jambu batu, Jambu biabas, Jambu makan, Jambu merabas, Libas, Ribas.