The avocado is a medium-to-large evergreen tree that prefers subtropical to tropical climates. It grows well in Hawaii, although this state is not one of America's main producers. Hawaiian avocado growers produce some of the same varieties as mainland growers, as well as a few less common types. Many Hawaiian avocados are consumed in the state with only some of the crop shipped to the mainland.
Haas avocados are small, greenish-black, wrinkled fruits descended from the Guatemalan race of avocado trees. According to the Hawaii Crop Knowledge Master, this is the most popular avocado cultivar in the mainland U.S. Haas avocados are sometimes grown in Hawaii and can be harvested all year long with the main season between October and May. However, the Hawaiian climate does not produce high quality Haas fruit.
The most popular Hawaiian avocado and the only one certified for shipping to the mainland, Sharwil avocados are relatively large, green-skinned fruits descended from both Guatemalan and Mexican trees. This cultivar is responsible for almost 60 percent of commercial avocado acreage in Hawaii. The fruits mature in winter and spring and have small seeds and a rich, yellow-green flesh with 20 to 24 percent oil. Mainland consumers sometimes have difficulty identifying ripe Sharwil avocados, as they do not darken with age.
Greengold avocados are relatives of Sharwil. They produce large, green-skinned fruit but produce longer and have higher overall yield. This avocado is notable for its thick, gritty skin, which can be difficult to peel. Greengold avocados sometimes suffer from hard stone cells in the flesh, close to the skin and seed. These create an undesirable, gritty texture in the fruit.
Murashige avocados mature between June and August and produce large, green-skinned fruit. They can be difficult to harvest, as the stem easily pulls out of the fruit. Murashige avocado trees produce well. Murashige avocados weigh in at 24 to 32 oz. and are about 20 percent oil.
This Guatemalan avocado tree produces very large fruit with a thin, black-to-purple skin. Ohata avocados are prized for their easy peeling. The trees produce a relatively low yield, making them less desirable for commercial purposes. Ohata avocados are 24 to 32 oz. in weight with about 13-1/2 percent oil.
This avocado variety yields between October and February, producing a mild-flavored, green-skinned fruit relatively low in oil. Avocados from Semil-34 are about 20 to 24 oz. in weight and only about 12 percent oil. They are originally descended from Mexican and West Indian trees and yield well at low elevations outside of Kona.