Our feature fruit for October is the ever popular Avocado, Persea americana. This member of the Laurel family, indigenous to Central America, produces one of the most popular fruits in the world. Avocado have been cultivated for thousands of years. Early explorers transported from the New World and they have found their way to nearly every Tropical and Mediterranean culture.
Many examples can be seen throughout the park, from named varieties to volunteer seedlings. We have chosen to highlight the Avocado this month, but here in South Florida different varieties will be harvested nearly year-round. You will also notice differences in the fruit—some are rough-skinned and darker in color, some are smooth and brighter green. This is because there are three types, West Indian, Guatemalan, and Mexican. Most of the varieties we grow today are hybrids among these types that blend desirable traits from each, such as season, fruit size, and of course taste!
Some other fruits you will find around the park this time of year are:
- Mamey Sapote, Pouteria sapota
- Canistel, Pouteria campechiana
- Gamboge, Garcinia tinctoria
- Red or Beach Mangosteen, Garcinia hombroniana
- Citrus, various