|Avocado fruit and foliage, Réunion island|
The avocado (Persea americana), a tree likely originating from south-central Mexico, is classified as a member of the flowering plant family Lauraceae. The fruit of the plant, also called an avocado (or avocado pear or alligator pear), is botanically a large berry containing a single large seed. Avocado trees are partially self-pollinating, and are often propagated through grafting to maintain predictable fruit quality and quantity.
Avocados are cultivated in tropical and Mediterranean climates of many countries, with Mexico as the leading producer of avocados in 2019, supplying 32% of the world total.
The fruit of domestic varieties has a buttery flesh when ripe. Depending on the variety, avocados have green, brown, purplish, or black skin when ripe, and may be pear-shaped, egg-shaped, or spherical. Commercially, the fruits are picked while immature, and ripened after harvesting.
Borrowed from American Spanish avocado, altered—by folk-etymological association with abogado (“lawyer”)—from the earlier aguacate, which comes from Classical Nahuatl āhuacatl (“avocado”). (Can this(+) etymology be sourced?) Doublet of abacate.
The first mention can be found in the 1696 catalogue of Jamaican plants.
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ævəˈkɑːdəʊ/
- (General American) enPR: ăvəkäʹdō, IPA(key): /ɑvəˈkɑdoʊ/, [ɑvəˈkɑɾoʊ],