Pulchritude: Avocado Tree

Best known for its fruit, the avocado tree is native to Mexico and central America.  The avocado is the primary ingredient in guacamole, and its fruit is often added to sandwiches or pressed for its oil for culinary and cosmetic purposes.  The avocado tree (persea americana) classified as a flowering plant as the same family as cinnamon, its fruit is botanically classified as a berry.  Avocado trees grow as large as 66 feet tall, with leaves that are 4.7-9.8 inches in length.  Its flowers are small and greenish yellow in color, growing between 0.2 and 0.4 inches in width.  The undomesticated avocado, criollo, is believed to have originated in Puebla, Mexico.  Presently there are 2 classes of domesticated avocado cultivators, A and B.  The most popular avocado is an A cultivator, Haas.  Avocado oil is highly regard for its believed moisturizing and regenerative effects on the skin.  The oldest known evidence of avocado use dates back to 10,000 B.C. based on finding in a cave in Coxcatlán, Puebla, Mexico.  The Aztecs are believed to have used avocados to make guacamole by at least the 1500’s.


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