Avocado is native to southern Mexico and Central America, but before the European colonization it was cultivated from northern Mexico to Argentina. It is planted commercially in many countries, being Mexico the main producer. It reaches a height of 60 feet, with a trunk 2 or more feet in diameter.  The leaves are up to 7 inches long, lustrous and dark green. Flowers are about three-eighths of an inch in diameter and are grouped in large yellowish-green inflorescences. Fruits, of which there are hundreds of varieties, are generally up to 5 inches long. It flowers mainly during spring and the fruits ripen mostly during summer and fall. The generic name derives from and old Greek word used for an unknown Egyptian tree. The species name refers to its geographic origin. The Spanish name aguacate derives from the Aztec word ahuácatl, meaning testicle.

The photographed tree is in front of the Stefanni Building. There are other trees behind this same building, southwest of the chancellor’s house, west of the new Agricultural Sciences greenhouses, in front of and west of the Sánchez Hidalgo Building, and at the Research and Development Center.

Persea americana (Lauraceae)