Although planted in California as early as 1885, the Guatemalan race did not begin to attract attention until about 1910. With the increase of interest in avocado culture which had its inception in California about that time, a number of fruiting trees were brought to light, most of them grown from seed introduced about 1900 by John Murrieta of Los Angeles, although the first tree was planted by Jacob Miller at Hollywood. Because of the excellent commercial qualities of the fruits produced by these seedlings and the season at which they ripened, several of them were propagated and named as horticultural varieties. The number has now increased, both through the fruiting of seedlings locally and the introduction of selected varieties from southern Mexico and Guatemala, especially from the vicinity of Atlixco, Puebla, Mexico, which was the source of most of the seeds introduced by Murrieta and has since furnished budwood of many choice varieties.

In Florida this race came into notice even later than in California. Several trees grown from seeds sent from Guatemala by G. N. Collins about 1901 came into bearing at the Miami Plant Introduction Garden in 1911-1912, and their season of ripening, February to April, immediately stimulated interest in this race, since a winter-ripening avocado had been the greatest desideratum of Florida growers. Budwood of practically all the varieties growing in California was obtained, and the first offspring of these came into bearing at Miami in 1915. While it can thus be seen that the Guatemalan race is new to Florida, it promises to become of great commercial value, and it has the decided advantage that its culture will be possible farther north than that of the West Indian race. Up to the present the trees are successful under Florida conditions. The varieties that have so far fruited ripen from October to May.

In other countries the distribution of this race is limited. It was introduced into Hawaii in 1885, and has recently begun to attract attention in that territory. Lately it has been planted in Cuba, where it promises to be successful. It has also been introduced into Porto Rico and a few other regions, but only within the last few years.

The foliage of the Guatemalan race, as of the West Indian, lacks the anise-like odor which characterizes the Mexican. It is commonly deeper colored than the West Indian, the new growth often being deep bronze-red. The fruits, weighing 4 ounces to more than 3 pounds (commonly 12 to 20 ounces), and borne on long stems, are light green to purplish black in color. The surface is often rough or warty, especially toward the stem end of the fruit. The skin is usually over 1/16 inch, sometimes 1/4 inch, thick. This characteristic, together with the texture of the surface, is variable, occasional forms being found which have the skin scarcely thicker or rougher than in the West Indian race. It is usually harder, however, and more coarsely granular in character. The seed completely fills the cavity. The cotyledons are nearly or quite smooth, the seed-coats thin, closely united, and adherent to the cotyledons throughout. The flowers, more finely pubescent than in the Mexican race, are similar in character to those of the West Indian. They appear much later than those of the Mexican race, usually beginning to open in late spring, about the time those of the West Indian race (in Florida) are setting fruits. Unlike both the other races, the fruit does not ripen in the ensuing summer, but is carried over into the following autumn, winter, or spring; while in California, fruits which develop from flowers appearing in June may remain on the tree until a year from the following October. The ripening season in general is winter and spring in Florida, somewhat later in California, where the earliest varieties at present cultivated begin to ripen late in January or in February, and the latest ones hang on the tree until October.

Blakeman. - Form broad pyriform to obconic, oblique, broad at the basal end; size above medium to very large, weight 14 to 20 ounces, length 4 to 4f inches, greatest breadth 3 1/4 to 3 3/4 inches; base rounded, the long stem inserted obliquely in a very shallow cavity; apex broadly rounded, obliquely flattened or slightly depressed on one side, with the stigmatic point raised; surface slightly undulating to roughened, but not so rough as in many other Guatemalan varieties, dark green with numerous large yellowish or reddish brown dots; skin thick and woody, separating readily from the flesh, brittle, granular; flesh fine-grained, firm, deep cream-yellow in color, tinged with green near the skin, free from fiber or discoloration; flavor rich, pleasant; quality very good; seed broadly conic, medium sized, fitting tightly in the cavity with both seed-coats adhering closely. Season April to August at Hollywood, California.

Originated at Hollywood, California; first propagated in 1912, under the provisional names Habersham and Dickey No. 2.

Dickinson (Fig. 6). - Form oval to obovate, sometimes almost pyriform; size small to medium, weight 9 to 14 ounces, length 3 1/2 inches, greatest breadth 2 3/4 inches; base not noticeably flattened, the long stem inserted in a very small and shallow cavity; apex rounded; surface very rough, verrucose or tuberculate around the base, dark purple in color with large, irregular, maroon dots; skin very thick, especially near the base, separating fairly readily from the flesh, coarsely granular, woody, brittle; flesh buttery, pale greenish yellow, free from fiber, of pleasant flavor; quality good; seed roundish oblate, medium sized, tight in the cavity, with both seed-coats adhering closely. Season June to October at Los Angeles, California.

Originated at Los Angeles, California; first propagated in 1912. Vigorous in growth and precocious in fruiting.

Lyon. - Form broad pyriform, indistinctly necked, and sometimes oblique at the apex; size above medium to large, weight 14 to 18 ounces, length about 5 1/2 inches, greatest breadth 3 1/2 inches ; base narrow, the long stout stem inserted obliquely almost without depression; surface undulating to rough, bright green in color, with numerous small yellowish or russet dots; skin moderately thick, separating very readily from the flesh, coarsely granular, brittle; flesh smooth, firm, deep cream colored, tinged with green toward the skin, free from fiber discoloration, the flavor very rich and pleasant; quality very good; seed broad conic, medium small to medium in size, fitting tightly in the cavity with both seed-coats adhering closely. Season April to August at Hollywood, California. Originated at Hollywood, California; first propagated in 1911. The tree is precocious in bearing, and the fruit is of excellent quality.

Sharpless. - Form slender pyriform to elongated pyriform with a long neck; size large to very large, weight 16 to 24 ounces, length 6 to 6 1/2 inches, greatest breadth 3 1/4 inches; base very narrow, the long stem inserted obliquely without depression; apex rounded; surface slightly roughened or pitted, glossy, greenish purple to deep purple in color, with numerous yellowish dots; skin thick, separating readily from the flesh, granular and woody; flesh smooth, firm, cream colored, free from fiber discoloration, and of unusually rich pleasant flavor; quality excellent; seed oblate-oblique, small, weighing 1 1/4 ounces, fitting tightly in the cavity, with both seed-coats adhering closely. Season October to February at Santa Ana, California.

Fig. 6. The Dickinson avocado. (X 3/8)

Fig. 6. The Dickinson avocado. (X 3/8)

Originated near Santa Ana, California; first propagated in 1913. This is a fruit of fine quality, ripening very late in season.

Solano. - Form broadly obovate to oval; size above medium to large, weight 16 to 24 ounces, sometimes attaining to 28 ounces, length 5 3/4 inches, greatest breadth 3 7/8 inches; base rounded, with the long stem inserted obliquely without depression; apex oblique, slightly flattened; surface nearly smooth, somewhat glossy, bright green in color with numerous greenish yellow dots; skin moderately thick, separating readily from the flesh, granular; flesh firm, smooth, yellowish cream color, greenish near the skin, free from fiber discolorations and of mild pleasant flavor; quality fair; seed broadly conical to broadly ovate, small, fitting tightly in the cavity, with both seed-coats adhering closely. Season March to May at Los Angeles, California; October to November 15 at Miami, Florida.

Originated at Hollywood, California; first propagated in 1912. Productive, and a strong grower.

Spinks. - Form broadly obovate, or ob-conic; size extremely large, weighing from 18 to 34 ounces, length about 5 inches, greatest breadth about 4 1/2 inches; base narrow, rounded, with the rather short stout stem inserted almost squarely without depression; apex rounded; surface roughened, warty around the base, dark purple in color; skin thick, separating readily from the flesh, woody, granular, brittle; flesh firm, smooth, rich yellow in color, free from fiber, and of rich pleasant flavor; quality very good; seed nearly spherical, small, weighing 3 ounces, fitting tightly in the cavity with the seed-coats adhering closely. Season April to August at Duarte, California.

Originated at Duarte, California; first propagated in 1915. The tree is vigorous and productive, and the fruit of excellent quality.

Taft (Fig. 7). - Form broad pyriform, slightly necked; size above medium to very large, weight 14 to 24 ounces, length 5 to 5 inches, greatest breadth 3 inches; base tapering, the long stem inserted obliquely without depression; apex rounded, with the stigmatic point raised; surface undulating to roughened around the base, deep green in color, with numerous yellowish dots; skin thick, separating very readily from the flesh, granular, rather pliable; flesh firm, smooth, light yellow in color with no trace of fiber discoloration; flavor unusually rich and pleasant; quality excellent; seed broadly conical, medium sized, fitting tightly in the cavity with both seed-coats adhering closely. Season May to October in southern California.

Originated at Orange, California; first propagated in 1912. The tree is a strong grower but has not proved very frost-resistant in Florida. Its bearing habits have not been satisfactory in California, but in Florida they promise to be better.

Fig. 7. The Taft avocado. (X 1/3)

Fig. 7. The Taft avocado. (X 1/3)

Taylor. - Form pyriform to obovate; size medium to large, weight 12 to 18 ounces, length 4 to 4 1/2 inches, greatest breadth 3 1/2 inches; base tapering, usually not distinctly necked, the long stem inserted obliquely almost without depression; apex rounded; surface undulating to rough, dull green in color, with numerous small yellowish dots; skin 1/16 inch thick, separating readily from the flesh, granular and woody; flesh firm, smooth, yellowish cream color, pale green near the skin, free from fiber, and of fairly rich pleasant flavor; quality very good; seed conical, medium sized, tight in the cavity with both seed-coats adhering closely. Season January 15 to April 1, at Miami, Florida.

Originated at Miami, Florida; first propagated in 1914. This variety has been planted only in Florida, where it has proved to be vigorous and reasonably productive.