Avocados are pear-shaped fruits that grow on evergreen trees in the tropics.
They have a tough, green outer covering with creamy flesh and a big seed in the centre.
Their flavor is generally described as mildly nutty and creamy, and they come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and textures.
Though you may only be familiar with a handful variations, there are hundreds of avocado cultivars grown around the world, including 56 in Florida alone. Many are hybrids, which means they’re the result of crossing two different varieties to make a new one.
The several types of avocados are discussed in this guide.
Avocados come in various varieties
While you may only notice a few varieties of avocado at your local supermarket, there are hundreds of variations that grow all over the world. Despite the existence of various hybrids, all avocados may be traced back to Guatemala, Mexico, or the West Indies.
A-type and B-type cultivars are the two types of fruits. The avocado tree flowers open at different times and have different pollination habits. The cultivar has little impact on consumers, but it is more important for avocado growers.
While having one of either type is nice, it is not required. Most avocado types are “self-fruitful,” meaning they don’t require cross-pollination from another tree. They should grow avocado fruit even if they don’t have a friend. When cultivated alone, Reed and Hass are very good at producing a good crop. Having the opposite Type B or Type A partner tree nearby, on the other hand, virtually guarantees a far greater and more fruitful crop.
When Hass was given a cross-pollinator, one study found that fruit development increased by more than 50%. Other avocado kinds, such as Pinkertons, are especially reliant on partner trees and do even worse without one. The pollination of avocado is mostly carried out by bees, with the wind playing a minor role.
Think about planting two avocado trees if you’re interested in cultivating avocados. If you don’t have the room, additional avocado trees within your vicinity might be enough to cross-pollinate your tree. What is the minimum distance between avocado cross pollination trees? According to some internet sites, the distance is between 25 and 30 feet. Others claim it’s only a few blocks away. If your area has a lot of avocado trees, you should be good with just one.
Avocados use a process called dichogamy to partially self-pollinate. Female A-type flowers bloom during the morning and release pollen during the afternoon. B-type flowers, on the other hand, receive pollen in the afternoon and shed it the next morning.
Many kinds have similar characteristics, yet they range slightly in size, color, flavor, form, and growth season.
Avocados grown in California (Hass variety) are smaller and have a pebbly skin, but avocados grown in Florida are larger and have a smoother surface.
Avocado Varieties of Type A
Pinterton, Hass Carmen Hass, Lamb Hass, Reed, Gwen, Stewart, Holiday, Pryor (known as Fantastic), Mexicola Grande, Opal, Hass, Carmen Hass, Pint (aka Lila).
Avocado Varieties of Type B
Zutano, Bacon, Fuerte, Winter Mexican, Joey, Sir Prize, Brazos Belle/Wilma, Brogdon.
Varieties that Can Fall Under Both Types:
There is an avocado cultivar that has either type of blossoms at the same time. The Wurtz avocado, popularly known as the “Little Cado,” – the only true dwarf avocado cultivar. The Cado is ideal for small spaces such as backyard gardens, because of its tiny stature, high self-fertility, and ability to give fruit sooner than most.
Types of Avocados:
Pollination or flower: Type A
Zones: From 9 to 11.
Habits of growth: Maximum of 35 feet, yet can be clipped to be stouter (something that can be done with every avocado tree).
- Frost-sensitive below 32F. Also less heat tolerant than some avocado cultivars, such as Reed, Lamb Hass, and Mexicola, which are more heat tolerant.
- Characteristics of the fruit: Medium-sized fruit with a high-fat, nutty and creamy flesh. When ripe, the thick rough skin becomes black to dark green.
- Time of bloom: From February until May
Time of ripening: From April to September – from previous year’s blossoms, as Hass tree fruits last 13 to 15 months on the tree.
- Other Interesting Information: The Hass cultivar was developed in the 1930s in a backyard in Southern California. However, the Hass was not widely marketed or grown until the latter half of the 1970s. When cultivated alone, both Reed and Hass avocado types produce a good output (in the absence of pollinating partners).
- Pollination or flower: Type A
Zones: From 9 to 11
Habits of growth: This tree is regarded more controllable than several other kinds of avocado trees. It’s a medium-sized tree with a large canopy.
- Characteristics of the fruit: An early and heavy producer of the oblong narrow pear-shaped fruit. Pintertons have a deep, nutty flavor similar to Hass, but with a smaller pit, which makes them extremely desirable. The skin of the fruit is medium thick, pebbled, and can be easily peeled, and the fruit remains green as it Time of ripening.
Cold-Hardy: 30 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Time of bloom: Spring
Time of ripening: From November until April.
Other interesting information: For a healthy fruit set, Pinkertons require the presence of a Type pollinating companion.
Type A Pollination or flower
Zones: From 10 to 11.
Reed trees are more upright and slender than other avocado kinds in terms of growth habits. They can make for suitable compact trees in restricted locations when combined with careful pruning. Having said that, it is a fairly huge tree, attaining a maximum height of 37 feet when fully grown. It’s renowned to be prolific, yet it can even produce quite well even in the absence of a pollinator tree.
Frost sensitive at temperatures less than 32 degrees Fahrenheit. More heat-tolerant compared to Hass.
- Characteristics of the fruit: Produces enormous round fruits that resemble green softballs. The slightly pebbled and thick exterior peels away effortlessly to reveal a buttery, flavorful flesh. Reed avocados are the largest type of avocado, weighing in at than a pound each!
- Blooming Season: Spring through Summer • Ripening Season: Summer the next year They require approximately 12 months on their tree after the initial development, just like Hass!
- Other interesting information: Compared to Hass, Reed avocados need less water, which is a big plus in drought-stricken California! It’s low-maintenance and aggressive, making it an excellent choice for beginner avocado producers.
Hass with Lamb
- Type A Pollination or flower •
Zones: from 9 to 11.
- Habits of Growth: A medium-sized, straight, and compact tree. Lamb-Hass is a hybrid of the Hass Avocado and the Gwen (semi dwarf) Avocado types.
- Sensitive to temperatures below 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Has greater heat tolerance than the Hass tree.
- Characteristics of the fruit: Hass-like. Excellent flavor with a lot of oil. The pebbly thick skin starts turning black upon the time of ripening, and it’s less malleable than Hass, making it more difficult to peel.
- Time of bloom: From late winter season to early spring •
Time of ripening: From April until November. Lamb Hass is associated with a slightly later and longer season than Hass (it extends the Hass season), however, it also takes a little longer to develop on the tree. The fruit will need to stay on the tree for at least 12 months after it initially matures. Classic Hass is slightly more cold-hardy and heat-tolerant.
Other interesting information: Slightly more heat-tolerant and cold-hardy compared to the traditional form of Hass.
- Pollination or flower: Type A
Zones: From 9 to 11.
Habits of growth: A medium-sized tree with a circular, dense canopy (maximum of 30 feet). Greater density than Hass.
- Cold-resistant up to 30°F
- Characteristics of the fruit: Hass-like fruit with a little smaller size. Excellent flavour and a lot of oil. As the fruit Time of ripening, the thick pebbly skin turns black.
- Bloom Season: Carmen is remarkable as it blooms twice, once in the spring and again in the late summer.
- Time of ripening: November through September or October the next year (the tree bears fruit slightly earlier compared to the traditional form of Hass)
- Type A Pollination or flower
- Zones: From 9 to 11.
- Habits of growth: Gwen belongs to the smaller varieties of avocado, with a natural maximum tree height of about 15 feet. It can also be trimmed and kept to a lower size.
- Cold-resistant to a maximum of 30°F
- Characteristics of the fruit: Fruit flavor and texture similar to Hass (buttery and nutty), although it is a little less creamy. This fruit is slightly larger compared to Hass, and has pebbled thick skin that goes dark green instead of black when ripe.
- Blooms in the spring and Time of ripening from May to September.
- Other interesting information: Gwen can be a fantastic variety for urban backyards, because of its compact size and copious fruit production. It can also grow in suitable and large containers.
- Type A Pollination or flower.
- Zones: From 8b to 11.
- Habits of growth: This plant is a prolific producer and grower, yielding fruit on a regular and heavy basis. A huge avocado tree that can grow to be 40 feet tall or higher.
- Cold-hardy for a maximum temperature of 20 degrees Fahrenheit (can drop to 18°F over short periods of time or once fully mature).
- Characteristics of the fruit: Large, nearly pound-sized fruits with a big pit. When fully mature, the leathery fruit skin turns black or dark green, and this fruit possesses a decent nutty flavor.
- Time of ripening: August to October
Time of bloom: From the middle of spring until early summer.
Other interesting information: Of the Type A’s, Mexicola is happens to be the most resistant to cold. It’s also more resistant to heat compared to Hass.
What is the best way to choose the healthiest avocado?
Avocados, regardless of their kind, are nutritionally extremely similar. Avocados are strong in healthful fats, vitamins, and minerals and have a high caloric density.
Although Florida avocados are occasionally marketed as “light” because of their decreased fat content when compared to the popular Hass avocado, the nutritional difference between the two is minor.
Avocados are generally very healthy, and all varieties provide similar health advantages.