Love avocados? Thank a toxodon

Given avocado's popularity today, it's hard to believe that we came close to not having them in our supermarkets at all.

New test could guarantee the perfect avocado

A technique for measuring the ripeness of avocados could reduce waste by up to 10% and help fulfil consumer demand for ready-to-eat fruit. Developed and tested by Cranfield University, the technology uses a laser and small ...

A Mexican indigenous town's environmental revolt

When illegal logging turned their green, pine-covered hills into an ecological wasteland, the people of the Mexican indigenous town of Cheran decided to arm themselves with rifles and reclaim their land.

Researchers dish up digital avocado

It's an ancient fruit, but the avocado has been brought into the new millennium with the publication of its draft genome, which may be the key to improvements in future crops.

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Avocado

The avocado (Persea americana) is a tree native to Central Mexico, classified in the flowering plant family Lauraceae along with cinnamon, camphor and bay laurel. Avocado or alligator pear also refers to the fruit (botanically a large berry that contains a single seed) of the tree, which may be pear-shaped, egg-shaped or spherical.

Avocados are commercially valuable and are cultivated in tropical and Mediterranean climates throughout the world. They have a green-skinned, pear-shaped fleshy body that ripens after harvesting. Trees are partially self-pollinating and often are propagated through grafting to maintain a predictable quality and quantity of the fruit.

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