This race is the predominant one in the West Indies and throughout the low-lying portions of the tropical American mainland. It is found as far north as Florida and the Bahama Islands, and as far south as central Brazil. From its home in America it has been carried to Madeira, the Canary Islands, parts of tropical Africa, Oceania, and the Indo-Malayan Archipelago. It is much more widely disseminated than either of the other races. The name South American race is sometimes applied to it, while P. H. Rolfs1 termed it the West Indian-South American.
Practically all of the avocados cultivated in Florida previous to the introduction of the Guatemalan were of this race. In California it has never been extensively grown; only a few trees, in fact, are known to have fruited in that state. It is the most susceptible to frost of the three races, and is best suited to cultivation at low elevations in the tropics.
The foliage of the West Indian race lacks the anise-like scent which characterizes the Mexican; in general, it resembles the foliage of the Guatemalan closely, but often the young branchlets and the leaves are lighter in color. The fruits are produced on short stems; the smallest weigh 4 or 5 ounces, the largest 3 pounds or more. The surface is nearly always smooth, yellow-green to maroon in color, the skin rarely more than 1/16 inch thick, pliable and leathery in texture. The seed is usually large in proportion to the size of the fruit, and often loose in the seed cavity. The cotyledons are often rough on the surface, with the two seed-coats frequently thick and separated, at least over the pointed end of the seed, one of the coats sometimes adhering to the cotyledons and the other to the wall of the seed cavity. The flowers are characterized by less pubescence than those of the Mexican race, but are very similar to those of the Guatemalan; sometimes they are almost devoid of pubescence. The flowering season is from February to March in Florida, the fruit maturing from July to November, in certain varieties sometimes remaining on the tree until December or January.
1 Bull. 61, U. S. Dept. Agr.
Pollock (Fig. 4). - Form obovate to oblong-pyriform; size very large to extremely large, weight commonly 25 to 35 ounces, but occasionally attaining to 50 ounces, length 6 1/2 to 7 1/2 inches, greatest breadth 4 to 5 inches; base narrow, flattened slightly, with the short stem inserted obliquely in a shallow, flaring, regular cavity; apex obliquely flattened or slightly depressed; surface smooth, light yellowish green in color, with numerous small greenish yellow or russet dots; skin less than 1/16 inch thick, separating very readily from the flesh, tough and leathery; flesh firm, smooth and fine in texture, deep yellow changing to yellowish green close to the skin, almost without a trace of fiber discoloration; flavor rich, rather dry, very pleasant; quality excellent; seed conic, oblique at base, rather small, weighing about 4 ounces, usually fitting snugly in the cavity but sometimes loose, the seed-coats rather loose, more or less separate; season August and September at Miami, Florida. Originated at Miami, Florida; first propagated in 1901. It has been planted more extensively than any other West Indian variety except Trapp. It is remarkable for its large size and excellent quality.
Trapp (Fig. 5). - Form roundish oblate, obliquely flattened at the apex; size large to very large, weight 16 to 24 ounces, length 4 to 4 1/2 inches, greatest breadth 4 1/4 to 4 3/4 inches; base narrowing slightly, flattened around the deep, narrow, rounded, regular cavity in which the short stem is inserted; apex obliquely flattened; surface smooth to undulating or slightly pitted, pale yellow-green in color, with numerous small to medium sized, irregular, pale greenish yellow dots; skin 1/16 inch thick, separating very readily from the flesh, firm, leathery and pliable; flesh firm, very smooth, rich cream-yellow, changing to pale green near the skin, fiber discoloration very slight; flavor moderately rich, pleasant, quality good; seed broadly oblate, large, about 5 ounces in weight, nearly tight in the cavity, with the seed-coats adhering more or less closely to the cotyledons or sometimes to the lining of the cavity. Season commencing in late September or October at Miami, Florida, and extending until the end of December, with a few fruits hanging on until the end of February or March.
Fig. 4. The Pollock avocado. (X 3/14)
Fig. 5. The Trapp avocado. ( X3/8)
Originated at Coconut Grove, Florida; first propagated in 1901. An unusually late variety, and for this reason valuable. It was the only avocado planted extensively in Florida previous to the introduction of the Guatemalans. The tree is very productive, but is a weak grower and susceptible to frost.
Waldin. - Form oblong to oblong-pyriform; size large to very large, weight 18 to 28 ounces, length 5 to 6 1/2 inches, greatest breadth 3 3/4 to 4 1/2 inches; base somewhat narrowed with the rather short thick stem inserted squarely; apex slightly flattened; surface smooth, usually without markings; skin 1/16 inch thick, separating readily from the flesh, tough and leathery in texture; flesh firm, deep yellow in color, smooth, with very little trace of fiber; flavor rich and pleasant ; quality excellent; seed obovate, rather large, weighing about 5 ounces, usually tight in the cavity. Season October until early January at Homestead, Florida.
Originated near Homestead, Florida; first propagated in 1915. The tree is a strong grower, productive, and more resistant to cold and to fungous diseases than the average variety of its race. Valuable on account of its lateness in ripening, and the good quality of its fruits.