Feijoa - an outlandish plant with the name as light as breath of wind

Feijoa resembles a miniature watermelon or gooseberry with a thick matte skin. The smell of berries is sharp and cloying, from a habit it seems that someone accidentally doused himself with perfume. The name to match the aroma is unexpectedly magical. Feijoa, having arrived from distant lands, found in Europe and Russia a new abode.

Description and classification of feijoa

Feijoa is an evergreen subtropical shrub or tree no more than 4 m tall. Its place of origin is Brazil, where culture was discovered and described in the 19th century by the Portuguese natural scientist Juan da Silva Feijo. She got her name in honor of him. Feijoa is sometimes attributed to the genus Akka of the Mirtov family, but in some cases it is distinguished into a separate genus Feijoa (Feijoa sellowiana). The culture got a specific name by the name of the famous German scientist, researcher of the plant world of Brazil, Friedrich Sellov.

Feijoa is a low shrub or tree

Origin and distribution

Feijoa Homeland - South America:

  • Brazil;
  • northern regions of Argentina;
  • Uruguay;
  • Colombia.

It grows, occupying the tropical zone, but feels better in the subtropical zone.

Once in France at the end of the XIX century, the plant successfully spread throughout Europe, even came to Russia by the beginning of the XX century. Cuttings of unusual culture first took root in Yalta and on the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus. Subsequently, the quiet expansion of the overseas guest spread to the southern regions of Russia: Dagestan, Krasnodar Territory. Feijoa grows in the Caucasus and Turkmenistan.

No less successful was the conquest of plants in the Mediterranean zone of Europe. Feijoa from the beginning of the last century lives in:

  • Italy
  • Greece
  • Spain
  • Portugal.

With European immigrants, the plant entered the New World and gradually spread throughout the Pacific coast of the United States and some other states. Feijoa also grows in Australia and New Zealand.

Main characteristics

This is a subtropical evergreen moisture-loving plant that forms a bush or tree. The trunk is grungy, brown or greenish. Thick roots are located superficially in the soil.

The leaves are whole, oblong, green-gray. Smooth on top, pubescent below. Leathery and hard to the touch. They have the opposite location.

Feijoa leaves are whole and opposite

Feijoa flowers are exotic decorative. There are single, paired, as well as collected in inflorescences. Each flower contains 4 velvety petals. They are sweet and edible. Their outer surface is lighter, and the color of the inner surface changes from almost white at the edge to dark pink closer to the center. The abundance of stamens attracts attention and gives a colorful look. Most flowers are self-infertile and need pollinating insects, although there are self-fertile varieties.

The outer surface of the petal is lighter than the inner

Usually, up to 75–80% of the ovary falls.

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Feijoa bloom in Russia is observed from May to June. Under natural conditions, in the subtropics of the Southern Hemisphere, this time falls on November - December. In tropical climates, both cyclical and continuous flowering occurs.

Fruits - small fleshy-juicy berries with a dense peel of dark green or greenish-yellow color. They are covered with a wax coating. The shape is rounded, oblong or oval. The average weight of the berries is 15-60 g. There are monster fruits weighing more than 100 g. They have a peculiar aroma reminiscent of strawberries and pineapple.

Feijoa blanks are nourished with vitamins during the long winter months. On the Web you can find many ways to cook these berries. My option involves a minimum of effort and a complete lack of heat treatment. Washed and dried ripe feijoa berries must be passed through a meat grinder and add granulated sugar in a ratio of 1: 1.5. Stir well and pour into jars. Keep refrigerated. It is possible to layer pastries with the resulting mass or serve it for tea.

The flesh is usually whitish cream or colorless. Some varieties are pink. The taste is sweet and sour. The consistency is usually creamy. Varieties with stony inclusions are found. Universal berries are used in fresh and processed form.

Feijoa flesh is usually cream or colorless.

In feijoa fruits, organic acids, sugars, vitamin C, pectin, iodine were found. The content of vitamin C in some varieties grown in the Russian Federation reaches 50 mg or more. 100 g of berries contain twice as much iodine as is necessary for daily consumption. Moreover, the amount of iodine directly depends on how close the culture grows to the sea. In the fruits of feijoa that live near the sea coasts, it accumulates more.

Persons suffering from diseases of the thyroid gland should consult an endocrinologist before consuming aromatic fruits, or limit yourself to one or two berries per day.

Plants in the northern hemisphere actively grow and bear fruit from April to November. The vegetation time in the Southern Hemisphere falls from October to the end of April.

Fruiting in seedlings is observed only in the sixth to seventh year after planting, but the vaccine manages to get the crop 2-3 years earlier. Fruiting is regular.

Studies have shown that these thermophilic plants are able to tolerate a drop in temperature to -11 ° C.

Video: how to grow feijoa at home

Some varieties of feijoa

In Russia, there are 2 scientific centers (in Yalta and Sochi) that study properties and engage in feijoa breeding. Employees of the Sochi Research Institute of Floriculture and Subtropical Crops and the Nikitsky Botanical Garden in Yalta created feijoa varieties included in the State Register of the Russian Federation:

  • Fragrant fantasy - Crimean early variety. Fruits weighing up to 35 g. Have a juicy, delicate pulp. Transportable. Productivity is about 100 kg / ha. Resistance to frost 3 points. Weak drought tolerance.
  • Dagomyskaya - medium term ripening. Created in Sochi. The berries are large, weigh on average more than 85 g. The peel is medium density. Creamy flesh, sweet and sour, with slight stony inclusions. With a pronounced aroma. Productivity is more than 300 kg / ha. Needs cross-pollination.
  • Dachnaya is an early variety created in Sochi. The berries are large, average weight 43.1 g. The skin is thin. The pulp is soft, creamy. Productivity is more than 200 kg / ha.
  • Nikitskaya aromatic - Crimean early variety. The average weight of berries is 35 g. The flesh is juicy, the taste is sweet and sour, and slightly pronounced. Productivity is just over 100 kg / ha. Resistance to frost 3 points.
  • September - an early variety, needs cross pollination. Thin-skinned fruits. The pulp without stony inclusions. The average yield is about 160 c / ha. Drought tolerant variety.

The outlandish feijoa fruits, even if they have not yet become a common food product, but gradually gain steady interest thanks to an attractive aroma, pleasant unusual taste and delicate pulp.

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