Avocados are known by a number of names, including alligator pear, butter pear and vegetable butter. They are grown in tropical areas around the world and produce a delicious fruit used in a variety of dishes, including guacamole.
Avocado seeds are usually only viable for about a month. Once planted, the seeds will germinate in four to six weeks.
Avocado flowers are perfect, meaning they contain female and male parts, but trees are not self-pollinating. Flowers open one day to receive pollen, then close and open again the next day to distribute pollen. Type A flowers and Type B flowers are open at different times, so having trees of each type will help ensure pollination. Pollinated flowers mature into fruit.
Commercial avocados are typically grafted and begin producing fruit after four or five years. Avocado trees left to grow naturally can start producing fruit in 10 to 15 years. They will continue to produce fruit for more than 50 years. Some trees still producing fruit are thought to be more than 100 years old. Each fruit contains one seed.
Avocados can live more than 100 years, but they are very sensitive to cold and may die if they experience freezing temperatures.
Kristen Kelly started writing professionally in 2010. She previously wrote technical papers while working as a research assistant. She has a Bachelor of Applied Environmental Management from Lakeland College in Vermilion, Alberta.