psidium cattleyanum

Our strawberry guava tree is busting out all over with fruit in varying stages of ripeness. We usually leave them for the birds to eat, though sometimes I’ll gather enough to extract a cup or two of juice. We preferred the lemon guava, but sadly that tree died after a few spectacular crops.

When looking up its Latin name, I learned that Psidium cattleyanum is (a) named for English horticulturist William Cattley (1788 – 1835) and (b) considered the most invasive plant in Hawaii. So many unintended consequences, when we move biota around the world.

agave americana

I’ve been collecting the maguey fruits a couple of times a day as they fall to the driveway. I’ve read they are edible (boil first, then sauté in butter or bacon fat) but they are pretty bitter. I’ve tried roasting and slow braising, hoping that will sweeten them up, but the bitterness persists. A little further research reveals that it’s the unopened buds that are good to eat, not the fallen fruits. To take advantage of the bounty, we should have cut down the stalk before the flowers even opened. Oh well … I think I’ll just leave these for the squirrels.