There are three main types of avocados: West Indian, Guatemalan and Mexican, and from these there are thousands of varieties achieved through crossbreeding. In the United States, avocados are primarily grown in California and Florida, often via propagation and grafting. Grafted avocado trees can take up to three years to produce fruit, while those grown from seeds can take up to 10 years to produce fruit.
West Indies Avocados
Not native to the West Indies, avocados are an introduced species. Two varieties of avocado, General Bureau and Lewis, are popular examples of the West Indian type. They are light green in color with a smooth skin. The West Indian type typically requires a warm climate. The trees bloom in spring and produce avocados in the summer. The avocados can weigh up to five pounds, and have large seeds. The West Indian type are lower in fat than other avocados.
The Guatemalan type of avocado, among which Hass is a hybrid, is native to Central America and Mexico. Harvest and Holiday are examples of the Guatemalan type of avocado. They produce a large fruit, up to five pounds, with a dark skin and small seed. The Guatemalan type can handle colder weather, and the trees flower in the spring and produce fruit in the fall and winter. The skins of this type are typically thick and rough. They have a medium fat content compared to other types of avocados.
The Mexican type of avocado are native to Mexico, the Andes Mountains and Chile. Puebla and Stewart are examples of this type, producing a small fruit weighing 1 lb. or less. This type of avocado is grown at higher elevations and can withstand cold very well. The fruit is dark green with a smooth skin. The seeds are large and the fat content is relatively high. The trees flower in the winter and the fruit is produced in the summer and fall seasons.