Flowering habit of avocado

Sep 29, 2009

Ventura County UCCE Farm Advisor, Ben Faber shares with us his knowledge of avocados.

The avocado is an unusual beast in many ways.  And flowering is no exception.  It follows what is called synchronous dichogamy.  The flower has both male and female parts, but those portions open at different times, opening first as female, closing and then opening as a male.  It does this over two days, so in effect it can not pollinate itself.

To make it more interesting there are what are called A and B varieties.  These varieties open and close in a different pattern, so that there is some overlap between the male stage of one variety and the female stage of another variety.  This is how you get cross pollination.

This sounds really good as a model, but most avocados haven’t read the book: for a given variety, there are always some laggards with both female and male stages on the same tree.


Avocado flower