|Avocado fruit and foliage, Réunion island|
The avocado (Persea americana), a tree likely originating from southcentral 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.
Commercially valuable with production increasing worldwide over 2018-26 at 10% per year, avocados are cultivated in tropical and Mediterranean climates of many countries. 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 ripened after harvesting.
Avocado trees are partially self-pollinating, and are often propagated through grafting to maintain predictable fruit quality and quantity. In 2019, Mexico was the world's leading producer of avocados, supplying 32% of the global total.
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],