Edible Feijoa Flowers

Feijoa flowers in spring

I have a beautiful old feijoa tree in my yard, and every spring it attracts flocks of starlings that dance through its leaves. The starlings are hungry for the hundreds of candy red flowers that appear before the fruits set in late summer.

I liken these flowers to nature’s litter — swaying in the breeze, dropping from the tree, and covering the ground with soft, fragrant petals that brighten up the brown bark mulch.

Blooming feijoa branches

Feijoa flowers are one of my favorite edible flowers. A lot of flowers are actually edible, but whether or not they’re palatable (on their own, not just as an accent) is a different story. Feijoa flowers are unusual in that they’re succulent and sweet like marshmallows, with hints of the pineapple/kiwi/mint flavor inherent in feijoa fruits. I’ll often scatter a few flowers over a salad when I’m feeling fancy, or throw some to my chickens with the rest of their greens.

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The flowers also feed the hummingbirds, butterflies, scrub jays, and squirrels that frequent the garden each day. With the onslaught of fruits that I get in the fall — thanks to prolific pollination by the birds and the bees — sometimes I wish they’d eat a little more!

The flowers have fleshy white petals with showy scarlet stamens; they remind me a bit of fuchsia flowers. Pulled apart, the petals look like sea shells with their lightly textured exterior and rosy red interior.

Feijoa flowers

Feijoa petals

Botanically, feijoa (Acca sellowiana) is an evergreen shrub from the Myrtaceae family that can be espaliered or trained into a hedge, but mine has slowly grown into a large tree with a single trunk. It’s a few decades old and has grown to bear resemblance to an olive tree (very Mediterranean looking) with its gnarled trunk, silvery green leaves, and egg-shaped fruits.

Mature feijoa tree

Feijoa shrub trained into a large tree

It’s incredibly drought-tolerant as well, since the only water my feijoa receives is from natural rainfall… and we haven’t had too much of that lately. If you live in a warm climate (zones 8 and up) and want a low-maintenance fruit tree that’s also bird- and bee-friendly, a feijoa is a great pick!

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June 30 2014      17 comments     Linda Ly
Flores   Jardín

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  • Linda, greenthumbs.eu

    That tree is very pretty, love the gnarly look. I find it fascinating that you can grow so many things outdoors, I’d love to live in a climate like yours. Someday, someday, until then I have to be contend with growing things inside since Swedish summers are all too short and winters too long and cold.

    • http://www.gardenbetty.com/ Linda Ly

      I’m very lucky to have a year-round garden outside, that’s for sure. :-)

  • Rennie B

    I have a feijoa bush about 4′ high and wide. It, too, produces abundant, delicious blooms and fruit, but the beauty of those flowers is amazing! I’m in Central FL and love getting ideas from your blog. Got some black raddish seeds to try because of your article on them. Thanks for sharing your delicious gardening life with us.

    • http://www.gardenbetty.com/ Linda Ly

      You’re welcome, and thanks for being here!

  • Kimberly Eldredge

    I LOVE how you’re always eating the most exciting things! This year, I’ve made a commitment to make syrup from prickly pear cactus fruit (tunas) instead of just munching them trail-side while backpacking.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    PS: I’ve been enjoying your blog for YEARS but I don’t think I’ve ever commented. I’ll reach out more often.

    • http://www.gardenbetty.com/ Linda Ly

      Prickly pear syrup sounds delectable — it sounds like it would make a great glaze for a roast. Or a vinaigrette or a cocktail flavoring!

      Thank you for reading, and I do hope you’ll comment more. I love to hear who else is out there. :-)

  • RNdiva

    Cool looking plant. Did you start it from seed?

    • http://www.gardenbetty.com/ Linda Ly

      No, my feijoa tree is 20-30 years old. You can usually find small shrubs in a nursery though, if you’re in a warm climate.

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