Persea americana is an evergreen tropical tree, native to Central America; this fruit has been cultivated for centuries in most of the tropical areas of the world: in North and South America, in Africa, Australia, Asia, New Zealand and on the coasts of the Mediterranean. Its foliage is dense and dense, roundish and erect, they are very long-lived trees, which can reach 9-18 meters high over the years.
The foliage is oval, dark green in colour, smooth and glossy, with a waxy appearance; the flowers bloom from the beginning of spring till late summer, they are small, not very showy, united in racemes which count thousands of them, of which only some will be pollinated; the long lasting flowering allows the plant to carry the fruits for a prolonged period of time: they ripen from summer till the end of autumn.
The fruits of avocado are drupes, similar to big pears, long from 10 to 25 cm, of various colour, from the dark green up to the blackish purple; the skin may be smooth or wrinkled; the pulp is compact and sweet, buttery, of pale yellow colour, at times pale green. Avocadoes do not ripen when attached to the plant, usually they need a few weeks to mature after being harvested.
There are hundreds of varieties of avocado, with particularly large or particularly tasty fruits; in order to favour pollination in the orchards cultivated with avocado, at least two different varieties are usually planted. Avocado are eaten raw, in salads or sauces, but they are also used to prepare particular recipes of Central American origin.
The plants of American Persea prefer sunny positions; they can withstand short, light frosts, but can show signs of suffering even at temperatures below four degrees. It is advisable to grow them in a place protected from frost and cold wind, which could cause the loss of the fruits. Avocadoes are also grown as potted indoor plants, in this case let’s remember to avoid excessive watering and often vaporize the foliage.
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I find myself with a beautiful plant almost a meter high in the course of a season. It was born this spring. I live in Ligurian…
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They can bear the drought without any problems; the young specimens are frequently watered, avoiding excesses and stagnant water. They are plants used to growing in places with very high temperatures and do not like water stagnations that can easily lead to the onset of rottenness.
The persea america specimens adapt quite well to any soil, provided it is well drained; they do not love the excessively acidic or clayey soils, preferring loose soils and quite rich of organic matter capable to furnish all the necessary nourishment so that the plant grows up healthy and luxuriant.
It usually happens by seed; the big seeds are inside the fruit, and have a rather short germinability. Plants of commercial interest are propagated by grafting, as plants produced from seed do not always produce fruits identical to those of the mother plant.
Avocado – American Persea: Pests and Diseases
They fear radical rot and the development of mould or fungi near the collar, favoured by excessive watering and stagnant water; in cultivation they are often attacked by defoliating insects and fruit flies.