This race, which embraces the hardiest avocados cultivated in the United States, is particularly valuable for regions too cold for the West Indian and Guatemalan varieties. It is extensively cultivated in the highlands of central and northern Mexico, whence seeds have been brought to California, resulting in numerous seedling trees scattered throughout the southern half of the state. In Florida it has never become popular, but good varieties have not been introduced until recently. Some of them promise to prove of value for the colder sections of that state.
From its native home in Mexico this race has spread to several other regions, most notably Chile, where it appears to be well known. It is the only race grown successfully in the Mediterranean region, trees having fruited at Algiers, in southern Spain, along the Riviera in southern France, and even in such a cold location as that of Rome. In tropical regions outside of Mexico it seems to be little cultivated.
The anise-like scent of the foliage and immature fruits is the most distinctive characteristic of the race and the one by which it is usually identified. The leaves are commonly smaller than those of the Guatemalan and West Indian races, and sharper at the apex. The fruit is small, 3 to 12 ounces in weight, rarely 15 or 16 ounces. The skin is thin, often no thicker than that of an apple, and usually smooth and glossy on the surface. The color varies from green to deep purple. The seed is commonly larger in proportion to the size of the fruit than in the Guatemalan race. The seed-coats are both thin, sometimes closely united and adhering to the cotyledons, sometimes separating as in the West Indian race. The flowers are heavily pubescent, and appear in winter or early spring, sometimes as early as November and usually not later than March. The fruit ripens in summer and autumn, commencing in June in Florida and August in California. Sometimes a second crop is produced from late flowers, ripening from March to May in California.
Northrop (Fig. 8). - Form obovate to pyri-form, sometimes distinctly necked; size small, weight 5 to 8 ounces, length 4 inches, greatest breadth 2 1/2 inches; base narrow, the slender stem inserted squarely almost without depression; apex rounded; surface smooth, very glossy, deep purple in color, with a few small maroon dots; skin thin, adhering closely to the flesh, membranous; flesh buttery, cream yellow in color, practically free from fiber, and of rich flavor; quality good; seed oblong-conic, small, fitting tightly in the cavity with the seed-coats both adhering closely. Season October and November at Santa Ana, California, with a second crop maturing in April and May.
Originated near Santa Ana, California; first propagated in 1911 under the name Eells. The tree is vigorous, frost-resistant, and productive.
Puebla (Fig. 9). - Form obovoid, slightly oblique; size below medium to medium, weight 8 to 10 ounces, length 3 1/2 inches, greatest breadth 2 7/8 inches; base obliquely flattened, the stem inserted slightly to one side in a small shallow cavity; apex obliquely flattened but not prominently so; surface smooth, glossy, deep maroon-purple in color, with numerous reddish dots; skin less than 1/32 inch thick, easily peeled from the flesh, firm in texture; flesh rich cream yellow near the seed, changing to pale green near the skin, buttery in texture, and of rich nutty flavor; quality very good; seed medium to large, tight in the cavity, with both seed-coats adhering closely to the cotyledons. Season December to February in southern California.
Fig. 8. The Northrop avocado. (X3/7)
Originated at Atlixco, state of Puebla, Mexico; first propagated in 1911, in which year it was introduced into California. A vigorous and hardy variety, fruiting later in the season than most others of its race.