Guava or Bayabas

Bayabas is found throughout the Philippines in all islands and provinces and is usually very common in thickets and secondary forest at low altitudes, ascending to at least 1, 500 meters. Also known as bayawas (Aklanon), guava (English).

This plant, which is somewhat hairy reaches a height of 8 meters. The young branches are 4-angled. The leaves are opposite, oblong to elliptic, and 5 to 12 centimeters long, the apex, being pointed and the base usually rounded. The peduncles are 1 to 3 flowered. The flowers are white, 3 to 3.5 centimeters across, solitary or two to three together. The fruit is rounded, ovoid 4 to 9 centimeters long, and green, but yellowish when ripe, and contains many seeds embedded in aromatic, pink, edible pulp.

Bayabas is one of the commonest and the best known fruits in the Philippines. A wild tree, it grows abundantly in settled areas. The fruit is a favorite with the Filipinos and is extensively used in the manufacture of jellies owing to the presence of a considerable amount of pectin. The ripe fruit is eaten as a vegetable and used as seasoning for sinigang.

Widely distributed in the Philippines. Common in backyards. Well-known because of its edible fruit. Propagation by seeds, budding, grafting, and marcotting. Root cuttings have been tried with success.

Leaves used for wounds and toothache must always be fresh. Decoction or infusion of fresh leaves used for wound cleaning to prevent infection and to facilitate healing. Bayabas twigs, chewed at the ends until frayed, used as alternative for toothbrushing with whitening effect.