Genetic Resources Management of Guava
Authors: Rajni Rajan


  • The genus Psidium of Myrtaceae family comprises of 150 species of small trees and shrubs.
  • About 20 species have edible fruits, of which the most commonly cultivated is the common
  • guava i.e., Psidium guajava L.
  • It is reported that the value of wild Psidium species lies mainly in their utility as rootstocks for regulation of vigour, fruit quality and resistant to pests and diseases.
Gene Bank

  • The Institute has 110 accessions of guava and 7 Psidium spp. in its field gene bank.
  • Eighty-two accessions of guava were characterized for fruit characteristics.
  • Two open pollinated seedling selections of coloured guava, namely, CISH-G-3 and CISH –G-H-G-4
have been released by the Institute for commercial cultivation in the name of Lalit and Shweta, respectively.

  • In case of Lalit, fruits are attractive, saffron yellow coloured with red blush, medium sized, firm and pink flesh
with good blend of sugar and acid. It gives 24 per cent higher yield than popular variety Allahabad Safeda.

  • Pink colour in the beverage made from the pulp of this variety remains stable for more than a year during storage.
  • Jelly made from Lalit is of high quality.
  • Shweta has subglobose fruits with few soft seeds, high TSS (140Brix) and attractive pink blush. It has good yield

The important genetic resource in world are listed below :

Scientific Name Common Name
Psidium guajava var. Aromaticum Common guava
P. cattleianum Cattley guava
P. friedrichstalianum Chinese guava / Costa Rican guava
P. guineense Brazilian / guinea guava
P. montanum Mountain guava
P. pomiferum Round shaped guava
P. pyriferum Pear shaped guava
P. pumilum Pyramidal shaped guava
P. molla -------------------
P. cujavilis -------------------
P. policarpum -------------------
P. chinensis -------------------
P. araca -------------------
P. littorale -------------------
P. coriaceum -------------------
P. microphyllum -------------------
Some other relatives
Feijoa sellowiana Pineapple guava
Myrciaria cauliflora Jaboticaba
Syzygium malaccense Mountain apple
Eugenia uniflora Surinam cherry, acerola
  • Psidium Spp.
  • Nearly 150 species are grown under the genera of Psidium. Psidium is indigenous to tropical and sub-tropical
America. Leaves opposite having pinnate veins, flowers 1-3 in axillary cyme large, whitish, divided in two lobes.

Calyx; not divided in two lobes. Fruit is berry.

  • Psidium guajava
  • Small tree cultivated commonly for edible fruits, plant shallow rooted shrub or small tree 3-10 m height branching
close to ground and often producing suckers from the root near the trunk.

  • Bark is smooth greenish or reddish brown, peeling of thin flakes.
  • Young twigs are four angled and ridges, leaves are opposite glandular, petiole 3-10 mm long.
  • Flowers are axillary.
  • Sometimes, solitary, or 2-3 flower in cymose type inflorescence large, white pedicellate, actinomorphic,
hermaphrodite, epigynous, receptacle hollow and united to the ovary, a disc present lining to the calyx tube.

  • Psidium catlleianum
  • (Strawberry guava or Cattleya guava).
  • It is native to brazil, sometimes, itis grown for small round, purplish red fruits of 3 cm diameter.
  • The white flesh has sweet acid flavour, may be eaten raw or as jelly.
  • It is small tree can be distinguished from guajava by erect branchlets and smaller coriaceous, glabrous, obvate

  • It is hardy, sub-tropical species closely related to guava.
  • This species can tolerant more low temperature than P. guajava.
  • Psidium montanum
  • (Mountain guava)
  • It is found in the mountain of Jamaica, shrub, about 1.5 m high, flat round branchlets.
  • Psidium friedrichstalianum
  • (Chinese guava)
  • Fruits are small and glabose shape with very high acid content.
  • It is proved to be good root stock as it is dwarfing in nature.
  • And resistant to wilt disease and a compatible root stocks.
  • Psidium catlleianum var. Lucidium
  • It is sulphur yellow colour and trees are comparatively large in size (12 m).
  • Fruits are mostly used for jelly preparation.
  • Psidium molla
  • Medium height of tree, leaves are green and oval in shape, leaf apex pointed.
  • Red hairs are present on central veins, 6-8 pairs of primary veins found petals 5-11, stamens 196-239, stigma long
with big ovary of 3-5 chamber.

  • Fruits are small in size, average weight 13 g.
  • Psidium pumilum
  • Tree like pyramidal in shape, leaves are light colour, small size, non pubescent, 13-17 pair of primary veins, petals 7, drop immediately, stamens are 252-327 in number.
  • If flower twice in a year, fruit weight 19 g per fruit.
  • Psidium guineense
  • (Guinea guava and Brazilian guava)
  • Plants are like shrub or small tree.
  • Leaves are green in colour broad, oblong-oval, acute or obtuse, 8-12 cm long with lower surface pubescent, red
hairs are present on the mid veins, 8-10 pairs of primary veins present in a leaf, corolla 5-7, stamens 150-185 in


  • Plant flowers round the year, small fruit (6 g weight) and poor fruit quality.
  • Psidium cujavilis
  • It resembles to P. guineense in growth characters and flowering habit of plants.
  • Fruits are small to medium in size with sour taste.

  • Psidium policarpum
  • Growth characters resembles to P. guajava except fruit shape which are pyriform in shape.
  • Fruit of big size (average weight 200-250 g per fruit).

Varietal Diversity

  • Guava is mainly a self-pollinated crop but cross-pollination is also common.
  • This resulted in large variability in seedling population from which promising genotypes are selected in
different agro-climatic regions of country.

  • In India, different workers in different regions described guava varieties.
  • Main centre of variability in guava is the Allahabad area in Uttar Pradesh.
  • In India, Due to seed propagation, varietal diversity is seen for guava, but species diversity is not seen.
Promising cultivars of different states are shown in Table.

Andhra Pradesh Allahabad Safeda, Anakapalli, Banarasi, Chittidar, Hafsi (Red Fleshed), Lucknow-46, Sardar, Seedless, Smooth Green, Smooth White
Assam Amsophri, Madhuriam, Safrior payete
Bihar Allahabad Safeda, Chittidar, Hafsi (Red Fleshed), Harijha, Seedless
Maharastra Nasik, Seedless, Sindh
Gujarat Dharwar, Dholka, Kothrud, Lucknow-24, Sardar
Tamil Nadu Anakapalli, Banarasi, Bangalore, Chittidar, Hafsi, Nagpur Seedless, Smooth Green
Uttar Pradesh Allahabad Safeda, Apple Colour, Chittidar, Red Fleshed, Banarasi Surkha, Sardar, Mirzapuri Seedless
West Bengal Behrampur and cvs. Of Uttar Pradesh
References . .

About Author / Additional Info:
I am currently pursuing Ph.D. in Fruit Science from University of BAU, SABOUR.