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Avocado plant

Main features of the avocado plant

The avocado plant belongs to the Lauraceae family and was already appreciated for its fruit in the pre-Columbian era. Currently it is also cultivated in Spain, Israel and in the southernmost part of Italy but almost only for decorative purposes. Avocado is an evergreen characterized by a tall stem and an extended root system. An adult plant exceeds twenty meters in height and can effectively shade large areas of a garden. The flowers are inconspicuous and remain visible to insects only minimally. This peculiarity is the basis of their low productivity. The fruits can be of various sizes and a color ranging from emerald green to dark purple. The caloric pulp is nutritious and high in fat.

Variety


There are three botanical varieties of the avocado plant: the Guatemalan, the Antillan and the Mexican. Each is distinguished from the others by the shape of the leaves and the color of the shoots. The Mexican variety has a distinctive aniseed scent that the other two do not have. Over the years, numerous hybrids and grafts have been created to obtain plants that are more resistant to pest attacks or with greater productivity. Currently the fruits that are on the market derive mainly from Fuerte and Ettinger, hybrid varieties that have an elongated shape and a thin bright green skin. If, on the other hand, you prefer an avocado with a much better flavor, you will have to buy a Hass: its rough skin varies from emerald green to dark brown and has a very intense aroma.

Reproduction by seed


Reproducing an avocado plant from seed is not complicated at all. First you need to remove all the pulp still adhering to the stone and, later, you have to immerse it halfway in cold water making sure that it does not touch the bottom. Place everything in a well-lit place but not exposed to direct sunlight. Avoid placing it in a ventilated area and, after twenty days, you will see the first roots. Immediately after, the sprout will sprout and then you can plant the new plant. Choose a fertile and soft soil composed mainly of an equal parts mixture of sand and loam. Water it no more than once a week to prevent the roots from rotting.

Avocado plant: Fruits

The avocado harvest begins in late October and continues until mid-November for the earliest varieties while the harvest of the late varieties can last until April. The variety that has a better yield is the Hass as long as it is equipped with an excellent graft holder. The production per hectare varies from a minimum of 10 to a maximum of about 20 tons. The smallest fruit weighs 200 grams but can even reach half a kilo. To check the state of ripeness, just lightly press the peel with your fingers. If it is soft to the touch it is ready to be tasted. The pulp can be eaten like this or cooked to create sauces or salads of all kinds, depending on your needs.

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