Sunday, March 4, 2012

Chilean guava ( Ugni molinae )

Fruit Warehouse | Chilean guava ( Ugni molinae ) | The leaves are opposite, oval, 1-2 cm long and 1-1.5 cm broad, entire, glossy dark green, with a spicy scent if crushed. The flowers are drooping, 1 cm in diameter with four or five white or pale pink petals and stamens Numerous short; the fruit is a small red, white or purple berry 1 cm diameter.

In its natural habitat; the Valdivian temperate rain forests the fruit matures in autumn from March to May. Ugni molinae, commonly known as Chilean Guava, strawberry or myrtle, is a shrub native to Chile and adjacent regions of southern Argentina. The Mapuche Native American name is "Union".

It was first described by Juan Ignacio Molina (Hence its name) in 1782. It was introduced to England in 1844 by the botanist and plant collector William Lobb, where it Became a favorite fruit of Queen Victoria. It is also grown as an ornamental plant. The fruit is cultivated to a small extent. The usage of the fruit in cuisine is limited to southern Chile where it Grows.

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