Avocado Tree Varieties

Avocado Tree Varieties -

The avocado was introduced from Mexico to the U.S state of California in the 19th century, and has become an extremely successful cash crop. About 59,000 acres (240 km2) – some 95% of United States avocado production – is located in Southern California, with 60% in San Diego County. Fallbrook, California, claims the title of “Avocado Capital of the World”, and both Fallbrook and Carpinteria, California, host annual avocado festivals.

A cultivars

  • Choquette - A seedling from Miami, Florida on the property of Remi Choquette. Now a favored commercial cultivar in south Florida.
  • Hass - While dozens of cultivars are grown, the Hass avocado is today the most common. It produces fruit year-round and accounts for 80% of cultivated avocados in the world. All Hass avocado trees are descended from a single “mother tree” raised by a mail carrier named Rudolph Hass, of La Habra Heights, California. Hass patented the productive tree in 1935. The “mother tree”, of uncertain subspecies, died of root rot and was cut down in September, 2002. Hass trees have medium-sized (150–250 g), ovate fruit with a black, pebbled skin. The flesh has a nutty, rich flavour with 19% oil. A hybrid Guatemalan type, it can withstand temperatures to −1 °C (30 °F).
  • Gwen - A seedling bred from Hass x Thille in 1982, Gwen is higher yielding and more dwarfing than Hass in California. The fruit has an oval shape, slightly smaller than Hass (100-200g), with a rich, nutty flavor. The skin texture is more finely pebbled than Hass, and is dull green when ripe. It is frost-hardy down to −1 °C (30 °F).
  • Lula - A seedling reportedly grown from a ‘Taft’ avocado planted in Miami, Florida on the property of George Cellon, named after Cellon’s wife Lula. It was likely a cross between Mexican and Guatemalan types. Lula was recognized for its flavor and high oil content and propagated commercially in Florida. It is also very commonly used as a rootstock for nursery production. Hardy to −4 °C (25 °F)
  • Pinkerton - First grown on the Pinkerton Ranch in Saticoy, California, in the early 1970s, Pinkerton is a seedling of Hass’ Rincon. The large fruit has a small seed, and its green skin deepens in color as it ripens. The thick flesh has a smooth, creamy texture, pale green color, good flavor and high oil content. It shows some cold tolerance, to −1 °C (30 °F) and bears consistently heavy crops. A hybrid Guatemalan type, it has excellent peeling characteristics.
  • Reed - Developed from a chance seedling found in 1948 by James S. Reed in California, Reed has large, round, green fruit with a smooth texture and dark, thick, glossy skin. Smooth and delicate, the flesh has a slightly nutty flavor. The skin ripens green. A Guatemalan type, it is hardy to −1 °C (30 °F). Tree size is about 5 by 4 meters.

B cultivars

  • Bacon - Developed by a farmer, James Bacon, in 1954, Bacon has medium-sized fruit with smooth, green skin with yellow-green, light tasting flesh. When ripe, the skin remains green, but darkens slightly, and fruit yields to gentle pressure. It is cold-hardy down to −5 °C (23 °F).
  • Brogden - Possibly a cross between Mexican and West Indian types, Brogden originated as a seedling grown in Winter Haven, Florida on the property of Tom W. Brogden. The variety was recognized for its cold-hardiness to −5 °C (23 °F) and became commercially propagated as nursery-stock for home growing. It is noted for its dark purple skin at maturity.
  • Ettinger - A Mexican/Guatemalan cross seedling of Fuerte, this cultivar originated in Israel, and was put into production there in 1947. Mature trees tolerate four hours at −6 °C (21 °F). The fruit has a smooth, thin, green skin that does not peel easily. The flesh is very pale green.
  • Fuerte - A Mexican/Guatemalan cross originating in Puebla, the Fuerte earned its name, which means strong in Spanish, after it withstood a severe frost in California in 1913. Hardy to −3 °C (27 °F), it has medium-sized, pear-shaped fruit with a green, leathery, easy to peel skin. The creamy flesh of mild and rich flavour has 18% oil. The skin ripens green. Tree size is 6 by 4 meters.
  • Monroe - A Guatemalan/West Indian cross that originated from a seedling grown in Homestead, Florida on the property of J.J.L. Phillips, it was patented in 1937 and became a major commercial cultivar due to its cold hardiness and production qualities. The fruit is large, averaging over 2 pounds in weight, has an elliptical shape, and green, glossy skin. Hardy to −3 °C (27 °F).
  • Sharwil - Predominantly Guatemalan, with some Mexican race genes, Sharwil was selected in 1951 by Sir Frank Sharpe at Redland Bay, southern Queensland, Australia. The name “Sharwil” is an amalgamation of Sharp and Wilson (J.C. Wilson being the first propagator). Scions were sent from Australia to Hawaii in 1966. A medium-sized fruit with rough green skin, it closely resembles the Fuerte, but is slightly more oval in shape. The fruit has greenish-yellow flesh with a rich, nutty flavor and high oil content (20–24%), and a small seed. The skin is green when ripe. It represents more than 57% of the commercial farming in Hawaii, and represents up to 20% of all avocados grown in New South Wales, Australia. It is a regular and moderate bearer with excellent quality fruit, but is sensitive to frost. Disease and pest resistance are superior to Fuerte.
  • Zutano - Originated by R.L. Ruitt in Fallbrook in 1926, this Mexican variety is hardy to −4 °C (25 °F). The large, pear-shaped fruit has a shiny, thin, yellow-green skin that peels moderately easily. The flesh is pale green with fibers and has a light flavor.

Other cultivars
Other avocado cultivars include Spinks. The fruit of the cultivar Florida, grown mostly outside California, is larger and rounder, with a smooth, medium-green skin, and a less-fatty, firmer and fibrous flesh. These are occasionally marketed as low-calorie avocados. Historically attested varieties (which may or may not survive among Horticulturists) include the Challenge, Dickinson, Kist, Queen, Rey, Royal, Sharpless, and Taft.

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