The avocado, Persea sp., is one of the most coveted fruits in the world, it’s native to Mesoamerica, where evidence of its cultivation dating from 1,500 years BC is found. It has more than 400 varieties and is cultivated in tropical and subtropical climates around the world. Its most commercialized varieties are: “Hass”, “Fuerte” and “Nabal”. Its cultivation, commerce and consumption stand out for its different uses and properties:
- Culinary: being present in dishes such as guacamol, soups and salads.
- Medicinal: for having antioxidant properties, for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases through the control of cholesterol and improving the health of the eyes.
- Nutritional: contains Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B5, C, E, K1, beta-carotene and folic acid.
- Cosmetics: its extract has been introduced in different products for the skin and hair, such as shampoo, conditioner, body creams and exfoliating gel.
Have you ever wondered how avocados are reproduced?
Avocados have a very peculiar form of reproduction due the dichogamy they present. This phenomenon consists on its flowers which possess both genders (feminine and masculine), but its feminine function only activates when the masculine is resting, and vice versa. The alternation in their reproductive organs depends on the time of day and it avoids self-fertilization and the genetic flow is promoted.
There are two types of avocados in terms of their dicogamy:
- Type A: female flowers during the morning and male flowers during the afternoon.
- Type B: female flowers in the afternoon and male flowers in the morning.
That is why farmers must have Type A and Type B trees in their fields.
In addition to this peculiar form of pollination, we share the right way to plant an avocado at home:
Learn more about avocados in: www.maya-ethnobotany.org/edible-nut-fruit-seed-tree-agroforestry-mayan-tropical-mayan-agriculture-diet-food-nutrition-health/hass-avocado-guacamole-lauraceae-persea-tropical-fruit-from-guatemala-mexico.php
See more pictures here: www.maya-ethnobotany.org/edible-nut-fruit-seed-treemayan-agriculture-diet-nutrition-health/hass-avocado-guacamole-lauraceae-persea-tropical-fruit-from-guatemala-mexico-photo-gallery.php
For more information, visit our website with bibliography on avocado’s dichogamy:
First posted, May 2019
Blog prepared by Marcella Sarti, FLAAR Mesoamérica (Guatemala)