Acca sellowiana: Exploring the Exquisite Feijoa
Acca sellowiana, formerly known as Feijoa sellowiana, is a captivating plant commonly referred to as Feijoa, Pineapple Guava, Brazilian Guava, Fig Guava, or Guavasteen. Although it shares the name “guava,” it is not a true Guava. Belonging to the Myrtaceae family, also known as the Myrtle family, this perennial shrub is native to Brazil, Paraguay, northern Argentina, Colombia, and Uruguay. Acca sellowiana’s evergreen nature and remarkable attributes have made it an intriguing addition to gardens worldwide.
Discovery and Characteristics:
The previous name, Feijoa sellowiana, was given in honor of Portuguese naturalist João da Silva Feijó (1760-1824) and German botanist Friedrich Sellow (1789–1831), both of whom made notable contributions to the exploration and study of plants.
Acca sellowiana is a subtropical plant that can reach heights of up to 7 meters or 23 feet. It possesses dark green, oval-shaped foliage with a distinctive hairy texture on the underside. During the summer months, this plant adorns itself with striking flowers featuring four red petals, contrasting against their white exterior. These blossoms emit a delightful fragrance, further enhancing the appeal of Acca sellowiana.
Cultivation of Acca sellowiana:
Sunlight: Acca sellowiana thrives in well-lit areas, preferring partial shade rather than direct, intense sunlight. Providing it with the right balance of light is crucial for optimal growth and fruit production.
Watering: Regular watering is essential during the first year of growth to establish a strong root system. Once established, Acca sellowiana exhibits tolerance to drought conditions, making it a resilient plant capable of withstanding dry periods.
Soil: To ensure healthy growth, plant Acca sellowiana in moist, fertile, and well-drained soil. Slightly acidic soil conditions are preferred, which can be achieved by amending the soil with organic matter if necessary.
Pests and Diseases: Acca sellowiana is generally resistant to pests and diseases. However, it can occasionally face issues with aphids, scale insects, and powdery mildew. Treating these pests can be achieved by using insecticidal soap or neem oil while maintaining regular watering practices can help prevent powdery mildew.
Fertilization: Applying a balanced fertilizer once a year in the spring will help promote healthy growth and fruit production in Acca sellowiana.
Pruning: Regular pruning is not necessary for Acca sellowiana. However, shaping the plant or removing any dead or diseased branches can be done in the spring to maintain its appearance and overall health.
Acca sellowiana can be propagated through various methods, including seed, cuttings, or grafting.
Seed: Sow the seeds indoors during winter and transplant the seedlings outdoors in the spring, providing them with suitable growing conditions.
Cuttings: Take softwood cuttings during the spring or summer season. Root the cuttings in a well-draining potting mix to encourage successful rooting and growth.
Grafting: Grafting a piece of Acca sellowiana onto the rootstock of another Acca species can also be a viable propagation method.
Acca sellowiana, with its captivating flowers, unique foliage, and delectable fruit, is an enchanting addition to any garden. By providing the appropriate sunlight, well-drained soil, and occasional maintenance, you can enjoy the beauty and benefits of this remarkable subtropical plant.
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