How many varieties of avocado are there? Their virtues and varieties.


How many varieties of avocado are there? Their virtues and varieties.

1st part

How many varieties of avocado are there?

There are three ecological groups or native races, according to the botany, and they can be considered the mother-fathers of the current varieties.

However, due to the scarce studies in ethnobotany, as well as those of genetic diversity within species, we have no notion of other wild races existing in the tropical forests of America. Hence the question “How many varieties of avocado are there?“.

Hybridization, in this delicious fruit, is very important. The mystical conditions of the flower are determinant; Although they are hermaphrodites (two reproductive organs), the self-fertilization is almost a miracle since the maturation of the male and female organs does not coincide over time, which does not allow fertilization from the same flower, this dichotomy, according to scientific language, nevertheless allows genetic mixing, essential for survival. On the other hand, only one flower in 5000 gives fruit.

This detailed organization obliges growers to have at least two different varieties in their crops to increase production.

There is no register of when a conscious selection of the primitive avocado was initiated in search of its domestication.

Nevertheless, there are certainties of the interest of the central American to keep it close, not only in his diet but for its nutritional kindness. Also for its indefinite uses given; like food for animals, production of oil as much in the kitchen and the beauty, wines, teas; the wood in the construction of houses, in the elaboration of tools of work and firewood; its leaves are condiment and medicine and its tree provides shade.

Does avocado have any relatives?

Persea Americana is the scientific name given to the avocado, avocado tree, or avocado tree as we know it popularly.

The combination of these two names has gone through several systematic and organized approvals used by taxonomy experts; who are the scientists in charge of ordering organisms in a classification system composed of a hierarchy of related groups.

This tendency to give names to everything that exists has always been present in human life.

At all times people have been aware of the organisms that surround them some scientists are convinced that we possess a genetic and instinctive liking for nature, and this would explain why the concern for plants and animals.

How are avocados identified?

Indeed, a large part of cultural customs bases around nature, such as the seasons, the harvesting of fruit, the grazing of animals, etc.

Thus we can find that the forest tribes have assigned a name to each of the plants and animals that make up the forest, an activity that would take modern science hundreds of years to perform, so it follows that their lives have been geared to these tasks.

That has also allowed them to develop a language that, in addition to assigning names, has identified its uses. This form of classification is called popular taxonomy, which has served as a basis for modern scientists-researchers in their aim to universally classify and name species.

This brief introduction is applied to explain why the avocado is a species with many relatives.

It is worth remembering that species are the basic unit of biological classification. They are natural populations capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. They are morphologically similar and are derived from a common structure.

Within the species, we can find smaller groups that differ from each other in features that do not prevent reproduction, so in the avocado, we find three ancient races and one recently proposed:

What are the races of avocado?

Mexican race Persea americana var. Drymifoli;

Guatemalan race Persea nubigena var guatemalensi;

Antillean race Persea americana var.

Costa Rican race Persea americana var. Costarricensis (new) named after its origin, as it is considered unique to Costa Rica.

The races have more than one differential feature, and these, in turn, group varieties that differ from each other in a single distinctive feature.

Currently, according to literature, about 900 varieties of avocado have been recognized.

Some indicate that each seed of the avocado is potentially a new variety, that is, because the characteristics of the flower are very demanding, forcing the farmer to have at least 2 races in their crops for effective pollination.

It seems to be a trick where only magic can turn less than 1% of flowers into fruit, despite producing millions of them.

Without a doubt, we can assure you, that the avocado has many relatives, which are like mixed children, that possess different characteristics such as flavor, colour, shape, the texture of the pulp, size, among others, so we ask ourselves once again, how many varieties of avocado are there?

What are the characteristics by race?

BranchesPubescentsSlightly pubescent
LeavesCoriaceae, elliptical or subovate, 10 to 30 cm long and 3 to 19 cm wide, with a sharp to the cumulative apex. It has pubescence in the beam.Sub-coriaceous, 8 to 20 cm long, and 10 to 24 cm wide. They are oval, ovoid, or oblong. Accumulated, obtuse, or rounded apex. The underside is pubescent.Accumulated, obtuse, or rounded apex. The underside is pubescent. Smaller than Guatemalan and Antillean. Intense dark green colour and aromatic like its bark and wood. The apex is sharp and the beam is glaucous.Varied with similarities to the Antillean and Guatemalan breeds and aroma of aniseed like the Mexican race.
InflorescenceAxillary, subterminal, or multiple, densely pubescent Green flowers 3 to 6 mm long and 2 to 3 mm wide, green in colour.Subterminal, moderately tomentose, and flowers from 3 to 7 mm long.Subterminal, multiple and may or may not present pubescence. The flowers are regular.It flowers from November to December.
Fruit1 to 3 fruits per terminal cluster, 10 to 25 cm long, pyriform, shiny skin, and dark green to brown to purple. The pulp is low in oil and high in sugar with a watery texture.2 to 4 fruits per terminal bunch, with a size ranging from 10 to 18 cm in length. Oval to slightly pear-shaped shape. The flesh is 4 mm thick and somewhat fibrous, with a greater quantity of oil than the Antillean breed. The rind is thick and green to brown or black when ripe.3 to 6 fruits per terminal bunch, with lengths between 4 and 12 cm. They have an ovoid or slightly pyriform shape. The peel is thin and smooth with colours ranging from dark green, brown, black, or purple. The pulp has an essence of aniseed, little fibre and high oil content.Small, round to pyriform in shape and 4 cm in diameter. It has a bitter taste and its peel is easily removable and bright green. It presents its maturation in September.
SeedOval shape, variable in size with a rough surface. Spherical and small.Long, oval and smooth.Round, rough, and pink to red.
Flowering at maturity5,6 to 9 months.
10 to 15 months.

5,6 to 8 months.

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At what height are avocado varieties grown?

We can find them domesticated at all altitudes, which is why this is the reason that most contribute to their differences.

The Antillean race is adapted from sea level to 1,000 m and is commonly found in polyculture with mangoes, guama, soursop, guava, tamarind, papaya, among others.

Its fruits are green, they are the largest of the three races between 400-1500 grams, the skin is somewhat thick, smooth, and shiny with the abundant pulp of good quality.

The Guatemalan race occurs between 1,000 and 2,000 meters above sea level. It is well cultivated with oranges, lemons, tangerines, cherimoyas, anon, cocoa, etc.

Its fruits are violet in colour, of medium size between 200-500 grams. The skin is somewhat thick, woody, and rough with abundant pulp and small seeds. Its fruit is considered to be the best quality.

The Mexican race from 1,500 to 3,000 meters above sea level related to coffee, apple trees, pine-oak forests, and many more.

Its fruits are green in colour and small in size between 50-300 grams, the skin is very fine and smooth, the seed is large and the pulp is small, the quality of the fruit is good.

Their domestication, like other plants with central origins in America, enjoys the faculty of surviving, adapting, living together and prospering in inhospitable places, with desert characteristics such as Israel and Morocco, as long as they have minimum conditions of water, light, and nutrients.

Avocado is a friend of the environment?

There is a lot of discussion about the impact of avocado production around the world, or more specifically in the countries considered as the big producers.

Indeed, any type of monoculture can somehow become a deterioration of the soil or the ecosystem to which it belongs, since they subtract the nutritive sources, avocado has other virtues that make it a friend of its environment.

Responsible production helps to minimise these impacts and make them regenerative. Finally, the avocado has virtues that make us think that it is a tropical and unconditional friend, and it is a great collaborator to the sustainability of tropical forests.

Whereas the high demand has increased the number of hectares cultivated in the producing countries, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Kenya, Brazil, South Africa, Indonesia, etc. It does not imply the deterioration of native ecosystems, but on the contrary, promotes beneficial association with other crops.

And what brings POP fresh into this?

POP fresh identifies and integrates into its ecosystem, those producers committed to the environment and society. It allows them to access international markets through its showcase and to establish more than commercial relationships with their future buyers.

The advantage of acquiring their products through POP fresh is the bet on fair pricesdirect commercialization, appropriation of the technologies by the bio-responsible producers, and the care of Mother Earth as the native Americans call it.

Finally, to answer the question “how many varieties of avocado are there“, this preamble is necessary. That is why we invite you to follow us and be the first to read the second part of this article.

Co-redaction with Rossy Armenta

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