April - June
An evergreen shrub or small tree that can infrequently will grow to 25’ tall. Its leaves are 2-3” long and 1” wide, evergreen, thick, and leathery with short petioles. Leaves are blunt tipped, soft green above and silvery-green beneath. Each flower has fleshy white petals tinged inside with purple and contrasting red stamens tipped with yellow pollen. Flowers are followed by rounded to pear-shaped fruits (1-3” long) which have waxy blue-green or gray-green skins surrounding a greenish, edible, inner pulp. Ripe fruit has a perfume-like fragrance and a pineapple-spearmint to mint-apple flavor.
Winter hardy to Zones 8-10. Will generally survive temperatures to 18 degrees F with out damage. Grows best in well drained soil and full sun but tolerates part shade. Best where winters are cool and summers moderate (80-90 degrees F). Summer heat stress may cause premature fruit drop. Best propagated by cuttings or by grafting from known cultivars. Can be pruned to form an interesting hedge. This is a good low-maintenance shrub for hot dry problem areas.
For best fruit production, select cultivars of good quality with ability to self-pollinate. Deeply water on a regular basis. Mulch soil around the shrubs to protect the shallow roots. Can be easily grown from seed but do not come true from seed. Fruits fall to the ground at maturity and should be promptly gathered and eaten. When fruits begin to ripen, put a tarp under the tree, shake the tree every couple of days and gather the fallen fruit. Ripe fruit may be eaten by slicing the fruit in half or in quarters and scooping out the pulp with a spoon. Tree-ripened fruit is generally better tasting than fruit picked off the shrub and ripened indoors on the kitchen window sill.