This Alligator Grows on a Tree

January 20, 2014

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It’s not an animal. It’s not a vegetable. It’s an avocado! Guacamole may be the first thing that comes to mind, but avocados are used in all sorts of ways. The Old Farmer’s Almanac for Kids, Volume 4, has all sorts of facts and tips about this delicious fruit.

This Alligator Grows on a Tree

Avocados are called alligator pears because they have rough, green skin like alligators and are shaped like pears. The fruit has such a smooth, creamy texture that they were once eaten only by royalty.

The avocado tree originated in south-central Mexico, sometime between 7000 and 5000 B.C. Archaeologists in Peru discovered avocado seeds buried with Incan mummies that date from 750 B.C. Today, people all over the world enjoy them in many different ways, such as in salads, sushi, soup, candy, guacamole—even in ice cream in Brazil!

Did You Know?

The avocado is a berry.

The tree is an evergreen. It can grow 30 to 80 feet tall.

An avocado pit (its seed) makes up 10 to 25 percent of the fruit’s weight.

One avocado tree can produce as many as 500 avocados (or 200 pounds of fruit) per year. An average harvest from one tree is about 150 avocados (60 pounds).

The oldest known living avocado tree is on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley. It was planted in 1879.

Avocado oil is used in sunscreens, skin moisturizers, hair conditioners, and makeup.

Try This!

Avocado Shake
(this is a popular summer drink in Brazil)

½ avocado, peeled and pitted
1½ cups milk
½ cup ice
3 tablespoons sugar

Put the ingredients into a blender. Process the mixture on high for about 1 minute. Pour it into a glass and enjoy! Makes 1 serving.

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Comments

I would like to know how to

By Rose Serrano

I would like to know how to start an avocado tree from seed and how to care for it. Any suggestions?

As a matter of fact, we have

By Almanac Staff

As a matter of fact, we have a page devoted to that very project: http://www.almanac.com/content/grow-your-own-avocado-tree

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