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Persea americana Mill.

Alligator pear, Aquacate

Source: Magness et al. 1971

The evergreen avocado tree with large, leathery leaves may attain large size. The tree will tolerate only 2 or 3°F below freezing. Fruit is of three types: The fruit of Mexican has a thin, smooth, soft skin; the West Indian fruit skin is smooth, thin and leathery; the Guatemalan type has a warty, pebbly, brittle skin. All have a single, large seed. Pulp between peel and seed is soft and buttery when ripe. Oil content of pulp varies from 8 to above 20%. Fruit is near round to oval or distinctly pyriform in shape, 2 to 4 inches in diameter.

Season, bloom to harvest: 8 to 12 months.

Production in U.S.: About 60,000 tons.

Use: Mainly fresh eating, salads. Some used for oil extraction.

Part of fruit consumed: Internal oily pulp only.

Last update February 18, 1999 by ch