Family: Fabaceae

Latin name: Inga edulis

Vernacular name: Guava, guaba (Do not confuse with Psidium guajava).

This multi-purpose tree provides important fruit and fuel for ribereÒo families, and is a cheap, popular snack fruit even in urban centers. As with other Inga species, it often produces fruits when few other tree fruits are available, which further enhances its importance to the people of the region.

This nitrogen-fixing tree is one of the most important components in the agroforestry systems of the region. Guava grows in almost any soil, even compacted clays and vacant lots largely devoid of vegetation. Its quick growth and canopy development shades out weeds. This characteristic can be synchronized well with annual crops, and if spaced properly, can also assist other tree crops. It is fairly tolerant of flooding, allowing it to be a component in a diverse number of agroforestry systems (do not confuse I. edulis with other, more flood-resistant Inga species). The roots and leaf litter improve soils, and it coppices well. However, guava attracts animal pests, including primates. Studies suggest that the frequent flowering of this species also attracts a diverse number of insect predators, helping to control insect pests on other crops.

The sweet edible pulp surrounding the seeds.

The sweet edible pulp surrounding the seeds.