Evergreen, Edible fruit, Trees
In California, two races of avocados are grown: Guatemalan (Persea americana guatemalensis) and Mexican (P. a. drymifolia). Widely planted varieties ‘Hass’ and ‘Fuerte’ are hybrids. Ideal climates for Guatemalan varieties, which are generally hardy to 30°F (–1°C), are Zones 21, 23, and 24, but good results can be had in Zones 19, 20, and 22, and some success can be expected in Zones 9 and 15. Mexican varieties, which bear smaller, less attractive fruit, are hardy down to at least 24°F (–4°C); they grow in Zones 9, 15–24, and some warmer locations in Zones 8 and 14. Avocados bloom in late winter to late spring, so even though older trees will survive these lows, temperatures much below freezing will damage flowers or fruit. In Hawaii, Guatemalan and hybrid varieties are best adapted to (and are grown throughout) Zone H2, but away from exposure to salt spray.
Avocado varieties have flowers categorized as either type A or type B, depending on the time of day they open and when pollen is released. Where avocados are common, isolated trees may produce enough fruit for home use, but for best production, plant one of each type or graft a limb of one type into a bearing tree of the other type. Mexican avocados mature 6–8 months after flowering; Guatemalan avocados mature in 12–18 months. Most varieties grow 30–40 ft. tall and spread wider (size can be controlled by pruning). They also produce dense shade and shed leaves throughout the year. Unless otherwise noted, the avocados listed here have thin, smooth skin.Avocado ‘Hass’
Harvest spring into fall. Medium to large; dark purple, pebbly, thick but pliable skin. Excellent flavor. Hybrid. Hardy to 30°F (–1°C). Large, spreading tree. Bears heavier in alternate years. Type A flower. ‘Lamb Hass’ is more productive.
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