Scientific Name: Persea americana
Common Names: Avocado, Alligator Pear
Duration: Perennial, Evergreen
Growth Habit: Tree
Hawaii Native Status: Introduced. This naturalized fruit tree is native to Mexico and Central America.
Flower Color: Yellow-green
Height: 30 to 65 feet (9 to 20 m) tall
Description: The small flowers are in clusters at the branch tips. The individual flowers have no petals and 6 hairy, yellow-green sepals in 2 whorls of 3. The flowers are followed by smooth to rough, yellow-green, green, reddish brown, purplish, or almost black, pear-shaped, egg-shaped, or round fruits with yellow to green flesh and a single large, brown seed. The leaves are glossy dark green above, pale glaucous green below, alternate, and variably elliptic in shape.
Here in Hawaii, Avocados are cultivated for their fruit and also grow wild in mesic (moderately wet) forests at low elevations.
Edible – The soft, buttery flesh of the ripe fruits is edible and quite delicious. This is the familiar Avocado of commerce.
Poisonous – The leaves, fruit skin, seeds, and bark are poisonous.
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Family: Lauraceae – Laurel family
Genus: Persea Mill. – bay
Species: Persea americana Mill. – avocado
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