Ugni molinae

Chilean guava ( Ugni molinae )

The Chilean guava ( Ugni molinae syn. Myrtus Ugni Mol, Eugenia Ugni ( Mol ) Hooker et Arnott, Ugni poeppigii Berg, U. PhilipII mountain; U. Ugni ( Mol ) Macloskie, U. myrtus Macloskie ) is a plant from the myrtle family ( Myrtaceae ). In the Mapuche language it is called uni and in Spanish murta or murtilla. It is only distantly related to the guava.


The Chilean guava is an evergreen shrub that reaches the stature heights of 1 to 2 meters. The arranged decussate, simple leaves are glossy dark green, oval to lanceolate, with a significantly sunken midrib. They secrete a spicy smell, if one grinds. The leaf blade is 1.4 to 3.6 cm long and 0.8 to 2 cm wide.

Among the flowers are two small, narrow bracts. The flowers appear in late spring ( in Chile at the end of November). Pendant, hermaphroditic, small, four-to five petals have a diameter 5-8 mm. The sepals are fused. The white to pale purple petals are arranged in a bell shape. There are 40 to 60 2 to 4 mm long stamens present. The stylus is 4 to 5 mm long, the ovary is inferior.

The abundance of flowers and the nectar riches attract large amounts of bees that act as main pollinators.

The small, hemispherical soft fruits have a diameter of 5 to 15 mm and mature in mid-summer from dark red to purple. The sepals remain as in the real guava fruit at the top. The seeds have a diameter of 1.5 to 2 mm. To overcome the dormancy, the seeds have a wet - cold phase to go through ( stratification ), the epigeal germination takes place.


Its natural habitat has this kind in southern Chile ( Region VI to X ) and in adjacent areas of Argentina. It is used as fruit and ornamental plant in Great Britain, Australia ( Tasmania ) and New Zealand planted.


The culinary use of the fruit is initially confined to the south of Chile. There, the fruits are placed with aguardiente ( a spirit ), cooked into jam or prepared with quince for dessert. The taste of the fruit looks more or less of quince or wild strawberry.

The Chilean guava was introduced in 1844 by the botanist and plant collector William Lobb in England and there has since been planted as a fruit and ornamental shrub. It is cultivated as a fruit in New Zealand and Tasmania, and marketed as " New Zealand cranberry" or " Tazziberry " what in Chile giving rise to concern that the type is protected by patents and it comes to bio-piracy by Australian and New Zealand agricultural companies. However there is probably no patents before, only the brand name Tazzyberry is protected by trademark law.


  • Flora Chilena (Spanish )
  • Information on only four species counted species in shrubs of the Andes of Ecuador. (Spanish )