top of page

Persea americana - Avocado


Native to:



Native to Central America.

Humid lowland forests or limestone formations. 0-2500 meters above sea level. 15 meter tall tree.

Persea americana - Avocado

Ecological value:

Pollinated by honeybees and other insects. Fast growing tree. Can be cultivated in a range of conditions at elevations as high as 2800 meters. Intolerant of being waterlogged.

Material uses:

A non-drying oil can be extracted from seed. Seed makes a red/ brown dye. The wood is soft and not durable and is susceptible to termites. Used in light construction, furniture, good quality veneer and plywood.

Edible uses:

Fruit. Oil can be used for cooking. Leaves can be dried and used for infusions, teas, and extracts. 6-8 years to produce fruit. Fruit yields up to 15 tonnes per hectare, but the averages around 7 tonnes per hectare. There are three varieties: Mexican, Guatemalan and West Indian.

Medicinal use:

Oil from seed used for skin-care. Leaves, skin of fruit and oil from seeds have several medicinal properties trading ailments such as dysentery, high blood pressure, intestinal worms etc.

Other details:

Wood is seldom used and is mainly grown for fruit. Ground up seed with cheese is used as a rat poison. At least two trees are needed for pollination.


Peaches Harrison/Christine Facella


“Persea Americana - Useful Tropical Plants.” n.d. Accessed November 15, 2023.
Barwick. M., ‘Tropical and Subtropical Trees - A Worldwide Encyclopaedic Guide’, Thames & Hudson, London, 2004
Little E.L. Wadsworth F.H., ‘Common Trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands’, USDA, Forest Service; Washington, 1964
“Persea Americana Mill. | Plants of the World Online | Kew Science.” n.d. Plants of the World Online. Accessed November 15, 2023.
Image sources: B.navez and Ethel Aardvark.

bottom of page