The Mexican avocado or Persea americana var. drymifolia is elongated in shape and has smooth skin. A very thin skin characterizes it compared to other avocado varieties. Also, it has an intense dark greenish-brown color. It's best used in tacos, salads, garnishes and for guacamole.
You might recognize the Persea americana var. drymifolia by its common name, the Mexican avocado.
But, what do you know about Mexican avocado?
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Persea Americana Var. Drymifolia Plant Profile
This variety of avocados comes from the flowering plant family Lauraceae, otherwise known as the laurels.
The avocado’s scientific name is the Persea Americana.
But, its common names also include:
- Mexican avocado
- Avocado pear
- Alligator pear
- Criollo avocado of the Mexican race
- Hass avocado
Originally hailing from the Americas, it’s likely a native plant of the highland regions of south-central Mexico, Brazil, to Guatemala.
In horticultural terms, the avocado tree is divided into three varieties, encompassing more than 1,000 cultivars.
These varieties of avocado include;
- Mexican Avocado (Persea americana, variety drymifolia)
- West Indian (P. americana, variety americana)
- Guatemalan (P. americana, variety guatemalensis)
Where does Mexican Avocado Grow?
When you consider that the criollo avocado is cultivated in many countries with tropical climates, it’s no surprise it’s so readily imported around the world. It’s most often native to Mediterranean countries or South America.
For example, in 2019, Mexico was the leading producer of avocado fruits, dominating with a massive 32% of the world’s supply.
Avocados generally require warm and wet tropical climates. But, Mexican avocados are hardy enough to tolerate regions too cold for other varieties of avocado.
For example, the P. americana, variety guatemalensis (Guatemalan avocado race), is a native species of the highlands of Central America.
In contrast, the cultivation of West Indian avocados is tropical and can only be grown in locations such as southern Florida.
How to Identify Mexican Avocados
The Persea americana var. drymifolia are under the characterization of evergreen shrubs or small trees. The leaves are simple, containing greenish flowers.
You can also identify the avocado leaves, which have an anise-like odor. The thin-skinned fruits are small, usually weighing between 90 and 240 grams (3-8 ounces).
The Mexican avocado is elongated in shape and has smooth skin. A very thin skin characterizes it compared to other avocado varieties.
Also, it has an intense dark greenish-brown color.
What is Persea Americana Var. Drymifolia Used for?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably seen avocados used in many recipes.
Criollo avocados are smooth in texture and delicious. But, they’re also highly nutritious, full of antioxidants, and fatty acids, making them the perfect foods for a diverse range of cuisines.
Traditionally, the Persea americana is important in Mexican and vegetarian foods across the globe.
Flexitarians, vegetarians, and vegans find the Persea americana a versatile food that works in various dishes.
Avocado Food Uses
- Toast topping
- Avocado milkshake
- Avocado oil
- As an accompaniment to any dish
Can you Use the Avocado Leaves?
Long ago, the Persea americana var. drymifolia leaves were used for seasoning and tea.
Sadly, most of the present-day avocado leaves are not usable for tea. Breeding has made them stronger than their ancient counterparts.
If you’re unsure if you have an ancient avocado tree growing in your garden (if you’re lucky enough to be in the correct climate), crush the avocado tree leaf. If it smells similar to anise or licorice, it’s part of the older species and can be used for seasoning and tea.
Way back when, the Aztecs would wrap food in the leaves for flavoring, a style of cooking they called tamale. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to cook with these modern-day avocado leaves; if you do, they will make you ill.
Don’t forget; you shouldn’t eat the pit either. Doing so can make you sick, or even worse.
Whatever you do, keep your pets away from avocados. Strong evidence suggests that cats, dogs, cows, goats, fish, rats, or horses can be killed if they consume avocado skins, leaves, pit, skin, or bark.
Experts like Jaquelina Julia Guzmán-Rodríguez, Rodolfo López-Gómez, Luis M Suárez-Rodríguez, and Luis C Rodríguez-Zapata have been diving into the antibacterial activity of defensin PaDef from avocado fruit.
Their studies have found that Persea americana var. drymifolia has the antimicrobial activity of a defensin. This suggests that avocado could be used as a part of antimicrobial therapy, helping to control infectious diseases.
What’s more, the criollo avocado plant has many medicinal uses. For example, extracts of the leaves are known for their anticancer and antihypertensive activities.
The leaves can be used as a medicinal aid to:
- High blood pressure
- Liver problems
The bark can also be used to battle diarrhea, while the fruit is used to:
- Lower blood cholesterol level
- Promote hair growth
- Sooth skin
- Treat skin conditions
- As an aphrodisiac.
The seeds can also be used to:
- Treat various skin conditions (when grounded)
- As a lipid extract
- Yield avocado oil because it has a high oil content. Avocado oil is commonly used as a dye for textiles and an ingredient in cosmetics.
Phytochemical Properties of Criollo Avocado
Perhaps the criollo avocado seed is beneficial for the body because it contains phytochemical components.
Phytochemicals have the potential to slow cancer cell growth, stimulate the immune system, and prevent DNA damage leading to cancer and other diseases.
How Grow Persea Americana Var. Drymifolia
It is possible to grow an avocado tree as a houseplant or in the shade. But, to thrive and produce the delicious avocado fruit, it needs to grow in a sunny climate with warm temperatures.
However, of all the avocado tree varieties, the Mexican race of avocados is the hardiest against winter temperatures. It will survive as far as 16 degrees Fahrenheit.
When choosing where to plant your avocado plant, consider that it needs;
- Full, unobstructed sun all or most of the day
- Good drainage (loose, well-draining soil or a hillside is best)
- Plenty of room to stretch out
If you live in a suitable climate, why not get your fingers a little green and grow a Mexican avocado tree yourself?