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Persea americana

Pronunciation: Per-see-uh a-mer-ih-kay-na
Family: Lauraceae (laurel family)
Common Name: Avocado, alligator pear, aguacate, palta
Plant Type:
  • trees, shrubs
  • fruits, vegetables
Height to: 60'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
  • 40 to 30ºF ZONE 10
  • 50 to 40ºF ZONE 11
Sun Exposure:
  • full sun
Bloom Season:
  • early spring
Bloom Description: The little flowers are greenish and not at all showy. They are interesting in that each flower opens twice. First the female part (pistil) ripens and opens; then the flower closes and some 24 hours later it opens again with the ripe stamens releasing their pollen. This practically insures that the flower will not be self pollinated.
Soil Type: Well drained soil, but with frequent watering. Allow the soil to dry out before watering deeply.
Propagation: Named avocado cultivars are propagated by grafting to seedling or clonal rootstocks. Grafted plants will produce fruit in 2-3 years. The large seeds of avocado can be suspended in a glass of water with tooth picks so that the wider half lies below water. They will germinate in a few weeks and can then be transplanted to a pot or outdoors. Such seedlings may bear fruit of uncertain quality in 8-12 years.
Native to: Central america, but is now cultivated throughout the tropical and subtropical world. Archaeologists have found that avocados have been cultivated in central america for more than 7000 years. Major exporters of avocado today are mexico, the united states, israel, kenya and south africa. The largest avocados are grown in hawaii.
Notes for Identification: Source: floridata - nothing compares with the understated rich buttery taste of a ripe avocado in a salad, guacamole dip, or just cut in half and eaten with a spoon. Avocados should be ripened off the tree. Picked green and firm, an avocado will ripen in a week or two in a warm room; considerably longer in the refrigerator. Left on the tree to ripen, avocados become mushy and develop an undesirable flavor.
Located in: Trees, Shrubs
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