Appearance''Rhodomyrtus tomentosa'' is an evergreen shrub growing up to 4 m tall. The leaves are opposite, leathery, 5–7 cm long and 2-3.5 cm broad, three-veined from the base, oval, obtuse to sharp pointed at the tip, glossy green above, densely grey or rarely yellowish-hairy beneath, with a wide petiole and an entire margin. The flowers are solitary or in clusters of two or three, 2.5–3 cm diameter, with five petals which are tinged white on the outside with purplish-pink or all pink.
The fruit is edible, 10–15 mm long, purple, round, three or four-celled, capped with persistent calyx lobes, soft, with 40-45 seeds in a double row in each cell; seed dispersal is by frugivorous birds and mammals. Seed production and germination rates are high.
Synonyms include ''Myrtus canescens'' Lour., ''Myrtus tomentosa'' Aiton, ''Rhodomyrtus parviflora'' Alston, and ''Rhodomyrtus tomentosa'' Wight. Common names include Ceylon hill gooseberry , Downy myrtle , Downy rose myrtle , Feijoa , Hill gooseberry , Hill guava , Isenberg bush , Myrte-groseille , Kemunting , Gangrenzi and Rose myrtle .
UsesIt has shown promise as a fire retardant species for use in fire breaks in the Himalayas. It is a popular ornamental plant in gardens in tropical and subtropical areas, grown for its abundant flowers and sweet, edible fruit. The fruit can be made into pies and jams, or used in salads. In Phú Quốc, Vietnam, the fruits are used to produce a wine called ''rượu sim'', and are also made into jellies, or freshly canned with syrup for export.
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