Guava is a small tree, up to 33 ft tall, with spreading branches, easily recognized because of its smooth, thin, copper-coloured bark that flakes off, showing the greenish layer beneath; and also because of the attractive, “bony” aspect of its trunk which may in time attain a diameter of 10 in.
Faintly fragrant white flowers, borne singly or in small clusters in the leaf axils, are 2.5 across, with 4 or 5 white petals which are quickly shed, and a prominent tuft of about very many white stamens tipped with pale-yellow anthers.
The fruit, exuding a strong, sweet, musky odour when ripe, may be round, ovoid, or pear-shaped, 5-10 cm long, with 4 or 5 protruding sepals at the top, and thin, light-yellow skin, frequently blushed with pink.
Fruits are edible. The fruit is consumed raw or processed to make juice, sherbet and jelly.
The dried ripe fruits are recommended as a remedy for dysentery, while the leaves and fruits are used as a cure for diarrhoea.
The ripe, fresh fruit is eaten as a cure for constipation.
A decoction of the leaves or bark is taken externally as a lotion for skin complaints, ringworm, wounds, and ulcers.