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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 959: III International Symposium on Guava and other Myrtaceae

TAXONOMY AND IMPORTANCE OF MYRTACEAE

Authors:   S.K. Mitra , T.K.S. Irenaeus, M.R. Gurung, P.K. Pathak
Keywords:   Psidium, Syzygium, Eugenia, Feijoa, Acca, Myrciaria, Ugni
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2012.959.2
Abstract:
The Myrtaceae or the myrtle family comprises at least 140 genera and some 3800 to 5650 species. Many important trees and shrubs belong to Myrtaceae. There are four genera of interest which produce edible fruits: Psidium, Eugenia, Syzygium and Feijoa. The genus Psidium contains about 150 species of which P. guajava, P. cattleianum, P. friedrichsthalianum, P. guineense, P. littorale, P. acutangulum, etc. are commercially important. The Eugenia is a small group in which important species are E. brasiliensis, E. uniflora, E. victoriana, E. axillaris, E. aggregata, E. dysenterica, E. lutescens, E. luschnathiana, etc. The Syzygium has about 500 species and most of them have originated and grow mainly in the south-east Asia. The important species are S. jambos, S. malaccense, S. suborbiculare, S. paniculatum, S. acqueum, S. cordatum, S. cumini, S. forte, S. Samarangense, etc. The Feijoa (Acca sellowiana) is grown mostly in Brazil, and Uruguay. The fruit is rich in protein, carbohydrates and fibre. The E. uniflora (pitanga) fruit pulp is a good source of carotene and ascorbic acid. The fruits of P. guajava are considered as one of the richest sources of antioxidant among the tropical fruits. This paper deals with the taxonomy and importance of trees and shrubs of the Myrtaceae family.

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