Avocado originated from Puebla in South Central Mexico. The consumption of the fruit started around 10,000 years ago, and its domestication and cultivation around 5,000 years ago. During its long history, the avocado became known by different names. Some of them are “Fertility fruit,” “Alligator pear,” and “Butter fruit” (1). Until the 1950s, 25 varieties of avocado were commercially exploited, with the “Fuerte” being the most popular. This changed after 1970, when a new variety, “Hass,” took the lead in many avocado-grown countries and industries due to its superior taste and high oil content.

As the fruit became more popular, the cultivation of the tree expanded in new regions with tropical, semitropical and Mediterranean climates. Based on FAO data, Mexico comes first in production with more than 2,4 million tons yearly, followed by other Latin American countries, Indonesia, Kenya, and Israel.

Avocados became widely popular after 1980-2000, even in countries and continents that were never grown or consumed before. Avocado fruit has a dark green, knobby skin, buttery texture, and fresh, mild taste. As a fruit, it seems that it can be classified as a berry, and thanks to its high nutritional value, it is preferred by vegans and vegetarians. At the same time, avocado is a popular ingredient for culinary, as a spread, in salads, smoothies, and desserts.

The high content of the fruit in poly and mono-unsaturated fats (75% of total fats of the fruit) can help reduce blood cholesterol levels and decrease the risk for heart disease. At the same time, consumption of moderate amounts can provide humans with 20 vitamins and minerals, while it is sugar and sodium-free.

100 g of avocado has a daily intake (%) of:

  • 160- 245 calories (kcal).
  • 20% total fat (16g, 30% of avocado pulp): only 5% saturated
  • 2% total carbohydrates (8g): 12-28% dietary fiber
  • 12% potassium (500mg)
  • 20% copper (0.2mg)
  • 20% vitamin K (22 mcg)
  • 16% vitamin C
  • 15% vitamin B6

Avocado also contains vitamin E, D, calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, manganese, Thiamine, Riboflavin, and Niacin (234)

Avocado Plant Information

All avocado varieties belong to the Persea americana species of the Lauraceae family. The avocado is a deciduous tree that can be propagated by seedling or grafting. A mature tree can become quite tall, reaching up to 18-20 m (66ft), with a 30-60 cm trunk diameter. The leaves have an alternate arrangement with a size and shape that varies depending on the variety. Usually, when young, they are hairy, and as they mature become smooth and leathery. Each tree can produce many thousands of perfect flowers, of which usually only 5% of them are fertilized and produce avocado fruits. However, if the environmental conditions are not favorable, there is a possibility that the trees grow but do not produce fruits (5). The avocado cultivars usually have significantly different harvesting moments, while there is also a great time variation between the flower moment and the fruit ripening and harvest (from 4 to 10 months). Young plants need extra care and protection from hot sun and strong winds, and they usually enter their reproduction life at the age of 4-5 years. However, it takes another 4-5 years to reach their maximum yield potential. The combination of different fruit trees, intercropping, is quite common by cultivating avocado on the same field with mangos, citrus, palm trees, and even olive trees. The tree cannot tolerate the hot, dry winds and frosts, but it needs warm weather and a sufficient water supply (rainfall or irrigation) to produce fruits. Suppose the climatic conditions are favorable and the water supply is sufficient. In that case, avocado is an easy crop to handle, with not very high needs for fertilization and crop protection. Thus, organic cultivation is a possible and viable solution. However, climate change makes it more and more difficult for avocado growers to preserve their orchards, and it already has an apparent negative effect on yield.

Depending on the variety, the fruit has a pear-, egg-, or spherical shape, a smooth or speckled, leathery skin of green color that in some cases becomes purple, dark brown, or even black when the fruit ripens. The flesh has a buttery texture and a light green to yellow color. In the center of the fruit, there is one single large seed enclosed in two brown, thin, papery seed coats (Morton, 1987). The fruit produced from modern cultivars may weigh from 150 to 400-500g, with a length that usually varies between 7 and 20 cm (6). Since it is a climacteric berry, avocado continues to ripe even after it has been detached from the tree (harvested). The farmer needs to be extra careful during harvest and storage of the fruits to avoid damaging them. The storage and shelf-life greatly depend on the ripening level of the fruit during harvest, the variety, and the (storage-environmental) temperature.

Attention: A farmer needs to carefully study the needs of avocado plants for environmental conditions, ensure water availability, and choose one or preferably, more suitable varieties to cultivate. The crop needs multiple years to start producing fruits. Planting an avocado orchard in an unsuitable position can cost the farmer money and years of production. A failure of avocado trees to produce fruits even after 5-6 years may be attributed to the lack of a pollinator variety in the field (or sufficient trees of it) or the local microclimate.


  1. https://avocadosfrommexico.com/avocados/history/
  2. https://californiaavocado.com/nutrition/avocado-nutrition-facts/
  3. https://www.fao.org/3/X6902E/x6902e06.htm
  4. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/
  5. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2F978-3-319-06904-3.pdf
  6. https://academicjournals.org/journal/

Morton JF (1987). Fruits of warm climates. Julia F. Morton, Miami, Florida, 505p.

History, Nutritional Value and Plant Information of Avocado

All Avocado Varieties Explained- Characteristics and Advantages

Avocado Tree Climate and Soil Requirements – Planting Avocado Trees

Avocado Tree Propagation and Pollination

Avocado Tree Water Requirements and Irrigation Systems

Avocado Fertilizer Requirements

Training and Pruning of Avocado Tree

Avocado Harvest, Yield per hectare and Storage

Avocado tree Pest and Diseases – Avocado Weed Management


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