While it may seem like any avocado is the same as another, there’s so much more to this versatile fruit than meets the eye! It turns out there are over 500 different varieties of avocado in the world and they fall into one of three groups — Mexican, Guatemalan, and Indian. That means there are a whole lot more avocado varieties than what you see in your grocery store produce department!
Read on to learn more about some of the more popular types of avocado varieties—including which ones you can grow at home and enjoy from your own garden!
1. Hass Avocado
Arguably the most widely distributed avocado on the market, the Haas avocado is characterized by its medium to large fruits with a textured, sometimes pebbly skin that darkens from green to black when fully ripe. The Hass has a creamy, high-fat flesh and its taste has been described as nutty, though overall it tends to be a nonassertive flavor.
Hass avocados were first bred in southern California in the 1930s, and eventually hit the market in a broader distribution in the 1970s. These are a favorite for home growers, as they can be grown both indoors and outdoors.
They make a great component in salads and sandwiches, guacamole, tacos, and other such dishes due to both their color and texture; in addition, the creaminess of the fruit and the mild flavor has made the Hass a top pick for many families when introducing first foods to young eaters!
Want to learn more about the Hass Avocado—including how to grow a tree of your own? Check out our Hass Avocado Article here!
2. Wurtz (Little Cado) Avocado
Affectionally dubbed “Little Cado”, the Wurtz Avocado is the truest dwarf variety of avocado tree, making it extremely popular with backyard growers in all sorts of living situations—they can even be grown in small containers or indoor pots! Wurtz Avocados are small to medium in size, thin-skinned, and a continuous green variety, with low oil content and a great, classic avocado flavor.
The ratio of pit to flesh can be a bit offset, with some individual fruits having less actual flesh than pit, but nevertheless, this remains a well-loved avocado for taste and texture!
The Wurtz produces from a young stage and has decent cold hardiness, making it another great option for growers in cooler climates.
Because of the smaller size of its fruits and the lower flesh content as opposed to some of the bigger avocado varieties, it’s best to think more individual with the use of your Wurtz Avocados—such as cubed for a single salad, used for a sandwich or burger, etc.—as opposed to planning for large batches of food such as guacamole.
3. Bacon Avocado
If your interest is piqued at the name “bacon”, you’re not alone! This avocado has been rising in popularity over the years—though not because it tastes like bacon (I know—drat!). However, the reason for the Bacon Avocado’s infamy is an important one for avocado tree growers: this is one hardy plant!
This smooth, green avocado variety has a particularly sweet-tasting note in the flesh that is otherwise described as exceptionally mild…sometimes even considered bland compared to Hass and Fuerte.
Germinated as a hybrid of two Mexican avocado types back in 1954, the Bacon Avocado was named after its original grower, James Bacon, and has gained popularity as among the most cold-hardy of all avocado types.
Its growing season ranges from November through March, making it a great asset to your garden if you’re interested in year-round avocado harvesting! Its fatty texture, paired with its milder, innocuous flavor, makes it a great component for dishes with more assertive flavors and even as a thickening agent in keto-friendly recipes, such as avocado chocolate mousse, avocado mayo, and more!
Want to learn more about the Bacon Avocado—including how to grow a tree of your own? Check out our Bacon Avocado Article here!
4. Fuerte Avocado
Though its popularity has been displaced by the Hass due to wider accessibility, the Fuerte Avocado once was—and is still considered by many to be—the golden standard for avocados! These medium to large avocados tend to have somewhat smoother skin, an elongated pear shape, and an inner flesh that’s thick, creamy yellow, and slightly oily. The Fuerte sets the bar for the typical “nutty” avocado flavor, with its taste often likened to hazelnut.
Fuerte Avocados were discovered back in 1911 in Mexico, and while they have been greatly popular among avocado enthusiasts ever since their market debut, they are notoriously difficult to grow, making them a less viable broad market option than some of their more resilient contemporaries—and even more difficult for home growers.
Nevertheless, the Fuerte Avocado makes a fantastic component for many avocado-featuring dishes such as avocado toast, BLTs, tacos, etc. as well as a tasty snack is eaten plain or with a dash of your favorite seasoning!
Want to learn more about the Fuerte Avocado—including how to grow a tree of your own? Check out our Fuerte Avocado Article here!
5. Pinkerton Avocado
The Pinkerton Avocado is a great fruit for both eating and growing, making it one of the most popular picks on this list! These can grow to be some of the largest avocados you’ll find, with a similar oblong, slender pear shape as the Fuerte and a somewhat pebbly, easy-to-peel skin of medium thickness that retains its brilliant green color even as it ripens.
You may find Pinkertons as small as 8 ounces or up to a whopping 18 ounces, with a classic rich, nutty avocado flavor and a very small pit—which means more avocado flesh to enjoy!
Pinkerton Avocados got their name from the Californian ranch where they were first cultivated back in 1970. Pinkertons are a cold-hardy variety, and are often more popular among home growers due to their manageability.
This avocado tree comes medium-sized with a flourishing canopy and a long harvest season, making it an attractive but not overwhelming component to your garden, with great production times! The Pinkerton Avocado’s luscious fruit, and the abundance of it, means you have plenty for making guacamole, salads, quiches…even avocado smoothies!
6. Reed Avocado
The Reed Avocado is distinguished by its large size and pronounced flavor. Reeds can grow to be an average of one to two pounds, with delicate, light green to yellow flesh and a shell-like skin that makes peeling them somewhat of a challenge.
Their interior is delicate, but the flesh’s creaminess is absolutely delectable, less oily than most avocados, and is most noteworthy for having one of the boldest, richest flavors of any avocado grown today.
The Reed Avocado traces its roots back to 1948, when it was germinated on the property of James Reed of Carlsbad, CA. Until the 1970s, only Reed himself grew and sold this breed of avocado; then it became popular among other growers in the San Diego region, with an inclination for market sale that unfortunately fell through when the Hass avocado hit the market.
Though it’s never thrived on the mainstream market, Reed makes a phenomenal home-grown avocado variety, especially for first-time avocado growers. It’s a sturdy and resilient variety that requires low maintenance and produces a great crop! In addition, this is a fantastic avocado for batching large dishes, such as guacamole for a party, avocado toast for the whole family, quiches to freeze and serve later, and more!
Want to learn more about the Reed Avocado—including how to grow a tree of your own? Check out our Reed Avocado Article here!
7. Stewart Avocado
The Stewart (or Stuart) Avocado is a thin-skinned, darker avocado variety that will turn dark purple or black when ripe. This pear-shaped fruit has a coarse, thin skin, generally weighs in at around 6 to 10 ounces, and contains a deliciously creamy flesh with a nutty flavor and a lower oil content than some of its contemporaries. Like the Bacon Avocado, the Stewart is very cold hardy.
The Stewart Avocado originated as a seedling of a different Mexican variety and was found on the Stewart Ranch in San Bernardino County, California, in the mid-1900s. From there, it was trialed at the California Citrus Research Center in 1952 and was introduced to the public in 1956.
The Stewart Avocado has enjoyed fair popularity since, especially among growers and consumers in colder climates, where it can thrive much better than many other varieties. This avocado’s most notable consumption is as a raw snack, great when drizzled with lemon juice and sprinkled with seasonings. It’s all been a popular component in BLTs and salads.
8. Zutano Avocado
The Zutano Avocado is frequently compared to the Fuerte in terms of its overall look and feel. The flesh is creamy but higher in water content, giving it a more mild, almost citrusy flavor as opposed to the well-known avocado nuttiness.
Its appearance is pear-shaped, with skin that is thin, glossy, slightly pebbled, and remains green throughout the ripening process. The Zutano is a medium-sized fruit, weighing in typically between 8 to 14 ounces.
The Zutano had its start in 1926 in Fallbrook, CA; over time, as this variety began to flourish, it was noted how Hass trees planted near Zutanos had a higher production of larger fruit. This made Zutanos wildly popular as cross-pollinators, though less so as trees grown for their own fruit production.
In fact, they are often pruned simply for their flowering rather than their fruiting, which has greatly curbed their market appeal. It’s easiest to grow your own Zutano tree or purchase at a specialty market these days, rather than trying to hunt down the fruit itself for sale; however, if you do manage to get your hands on one, you’ll find Zutano Avocados add a great nutritional boost without altering the flavor of your favorite dishes.
You can add these to smoothies, brownies, mousse, and similar dishes to pack in a punch of healthy benefits that even your pickiest eaters can enjoy!
Want to learn more about the Zutano Avocado—including how to grow a tree of your own? Check out our Zutano Avocado Article here!
9. Mexicola and Mexicola Grande Avocado
The Mexicola and Mexicola Grande are parent and child avocado varieties with similar traits and one large distinction: the Mexicola Grande is about 15 to 25 percent larger than the original Mexicola, weighing 6 to 10 ounces, with a slightly rounder shape.
Both Mexicola varieties have a leathery, dark green skin that blackens when ripe, and the interiors sport a creamy, delicate flesh that retains a deep green shade near the skin and yellows as it nears the large seed; the flavor profile is rich, smooth, and classically avocado. It has been noted that the Mexicola Grande is slightly milder than the parent Mexicola variety.
The original Mexicola Avocado had its origins in Pasadena, California around 1910, while the Mexicola Grande was first propagated in 1912. Both are known to be vigorous growers and producers, both cold and heat-hardy, and they are quite popular among home growers in particular.
The fruit makes a great component in any avocado-centered dish, with the original Mexicola making a great component for sandwiches, burgers, and alongside steak and chicken as a garnish, while the Mexicola Grande could be applied to dishes as a nutritional component with an elevation of milder avocado flavor, such as in desserts or drinks. An interesting thing to know about Mexicola avocados: the skin is edible!
10. Holiday Avocado
The Holiday Avocado is a green variety that does not blacken as it ripens, and is round like a Reed as opposed to the more oblate shape of the Hass. It has a somewhat thicker peel, a large pit, and plenty of very dense, low-fiber flesh.
Holiday avocados are notably large despite the tree tending to be a bit smaller, and they have an unfortunate vulnerability to stem rot as compared to other avocado varieties.
The Holiday originated as part of the University of California avocado breeding program and is the second-generation offspring of a Murrieta variety. While it never really took off commercially, the Holiday avocado tree is available to the public specifically with interest toward backyard growers who are looking for a smaller but well-producing tree.
Due to the density of the fruit’s flesh, Holiday avocados make great components for salads and guacamoles, as a mayonnaise alternative, or in any dish that could use a healthy boost with a gentle thickening agent!
11. Pryor Avocado
Sometimes called the “Fantastic”, the Pryor Avocado certainly lives up to its alternate name! This is another green avocado variety with thin, shiny skin that retains its gorgeous coloring as it ripens. The Pryor is one of the smaller avocado fruits out there, but also among the tastiest, with a creamy flesh that has some of the best oil balance of all avocados.
The Pryor is also popular for being one of the most cold-hardy varieties. Once established, it can withstand temperatures as cold as 15 degrees Fahrenheit!
Growers should ensure that any Pryor rootstock they’re purchasing is genuine Pryor, however, and not just Fantastic, as some of the rootstock marketed as “Fantastic” is of a different variety that won’t withstand cold as well.
In terms of eating, the Pryor’s well-balanced oil ratio means it can be used in all kinds of dishes, enjoyed raw or blended in smoothies, and other healthy drinks, even used a frosting base for healthy cakes and cupcakes without any textural issues!
So Many More Types of Avocados to Discover!
With so many different avocado varieties to try, it can be a bit overwhelming knowing which ones to buy or grow at home! We hope this guide has been helpful for learning about some of the best avocado picks! Let us know your favorite variety for growing and eating in the comments below!
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