20 Avocado Types: A Guide to Type A and B Varieties


Avocados are more than just a tasty addition to toast or guacamole; they represent a world of diversity that spans across climates, flavors, and growing habits. In our journey through the Top 20 Avocado Types, we delve into the rich variety of this beloved fruit, exploring both the well-established Type A and the cross-pollinating Type B avocados.

Person holding avocado

From the creamy, nutty flesh of the Hass to the robust and cold-resistant Brazos Belle, and the versatile Wurtz with its dual flowering ability, this guide unveils the unique characteristics and cultivation secrets of each variety. Whether you’re an avid gardener seeking to diversify your orchard or a culinary enthusiast eager to explore different avocado flavors, this article offers a comprehensive look at the wide range of avocados that nature has to offer, providing insights into their world beyond the common supermarket shelves.

Type A Avocado Varieties

1. Hass Avocado

  • Zones: 9-11
  • Growth: Up to 35 feet but can be pruned shorter
  • Cold-Hardiness: Frost-sensitive, less heat-tolerant
  • Fruit: Creamy, nutty, high-fat flesh; thick skin turns from green to black when ripe
  • Bloom & Ripen: February-May, fruits ripen April-September
  • Noteworthy: Originated in 1930s California, Hass thrives solo but benefits from a pollinator
Hass Avocado

2. Pinkerton Avocado

  • Zones: 9-11
  • Growth: Medium size, sprawling canopy
  • Cold-Hardiness: Down to 30°F
  • Fruit: Oblong, slender, rich flavor, small pit; skin stays green
  • Bloom & Ripen: Spring, fruits from November to April
  • Noteworthy: Thrives with a Type B pollinator for optimal fruit set
Pinkerton Avocado

3. Reed Avocado

  • Zones: 10-11
  • Growth: Slender, upright, can be pruned for compactness
  • Cold-Hardiness: Frost-sensitive, more heat-tolerant
  • Fruit: Large, round, extremely buttery flesh
  • Bloom & Ripen: Spring-summer, fruits the following summer
  • Noteworthy: Low water needs, good for beginners, prolific without pollinators
Reed Avocado

4. Lamb Hass Avocado

  • Zones: 9-11
  • Growth: Medium size, upright and compact
  • Cold-Hardiness: Below 30°F, heat-tolerant
  • Fruit: Hass-like, high oil content, pebbly skin
  • Bloom & Ripen: Late winter-spring, April-November
  • Noteworthy: Longer season than Hass, more cold and heat-resistant
Lamb Hass Avocado

5. Carmen Hass Avocado

  • Zones: 9-11
  • Growth: Medium-large, round canopy
  • Cold-Hardiness: Down to 30°F
  • Fruit: Smaller than Hass, pebbly skin, high oil content
  • Bloom & Ripen: Spring and late summer, November-September/October
  • Noteworthy: Two blooming seasons, earlier fruiting than Hass
Carmen Hass Avocado

6. Gwen Avocado

  • Zones: 9-11
  • Growth: Small, maxes at 15 feet, suitable for containers
  • Cold-Hardiness: Down to 30°F
  • Fruit: Larger than Hass, thick skin, nutty and buttery
  • Bloom & Ripen: Spring, May-September
  • Noteworthy: Ideal for small spaces, prolific fruiting
Gwen Avocado

7. Mexicola Grande Avocado

  • Zones: 8b-11
  • Growth: Vigorous, can reach over 40 feet
  • Cold-Hardiness: Down to 20-22°F
  • Fruit: Large, nutty flavor, dark green to black skin
  • Bloom & Ripen: Mid spring-early summer, August-October
  • Noteworthy: Most cold-hardy Type A, heat-hardy too
Mexicola Grande avocado

8. Stewart Avocado

  • Zones: 8b-10
  • Growth: Medium, compact, 20-25 feet tall
  • Cold-Hardiness: 20-22°F
  • Fruit: Creamy, nutty, dark purple to black skin
  • Bloom & Ripen: Spring, October-December
  • Noteworthy: Descendant of Mexicola, compact with B-like traits
Stewart Avocado

9. Holiday Avocado

  • Zones: 9-11
  • Growth: Semi-dwarf, 12-15 feet tall
  • Cold-Hardiness: Sensitive below 30°F
  • Fruit: Large, oval, green when ripe, good flavor
  • Bloom & Ripen: Spring, September-January
  • Noteworthy: Named for its ripening season, ideal for small yards
Holiday Avocado

10. Pryor/Del Rio (Fantastic) Avocado

  • Zones: 8-11
  • Growth: Medium-large, 25-30 feet high
  • Cold-Hardiness: 15 to 18°F
  • Fruit: Small, creamy, mild flavor, green thin skin
  • Bloom & Ripen: Winter-late spring, August-November
  • Noteworthy: Consistent characteristics on Pryor rootstock, good cold resistance
Pryor/Del Rio (Fantastic)

11. Opal (Lila) Avocado

  • Zones: 8b/9-11
  • Growth: Smaller tree, 15-20 feet
  • Cold-Hardiness: 15°F briefly, usually 20-22°F
  • Fruit: Rich, nutty, medium-size, green when ripe
  • Bloom & Ripen: Late winter-spring, July-November
  • Noteworthy: Second most cold-hardy Mexican variety, ideal for varied climates
Opal (Lila)

Type B Avocado Varieties

1. Fuerte Avocado

  • Zones: 9-11
  • Growth: Large tree, up to 35 feet, with a wide canopy
  • Cold-Hardiness: Down to 28°F
  • Fruit: Large, green, creamy, less oily than Type A
  • Bloom & Ripen: May-November, fruits from November to April
  • Noteworthy: A prime cross-pollinator for Hass, Fuerte combines excellent flavor with robust growth.
Fuerte Avocado

2. Bacon Avocado

  • Zones: 8b-11
  • Growth: Medium, upright, around 20 feet tall
  • Cold-Hardiness: 24-26°F
  • Fruit: Large, green, slightly less oily, great for scooping
  • Bloom & Ripen: Late winter-spring, December-February ripening
  • Noteworthy: Bacon thrives independently but also complements Type A varieties well.
Bacon Avocado

3. Sir Prize Avocado

  • Zones: 9-11
  • Growth: Medium, upright, 25-35 feet tall
  • Cold-Hardiness: Below 32°F
  • Fruit: Creamy, nutty, larger than Hass with a smaller pit
  • Bloom & Ripen: Spring-summer, ripens in early winter
  • Noteworthy: Offers a high flesh-to-pit ratio and less browning on exposure.
Sir Prize Avocado

4. Zutano Avocado

  • Zones: 8b-11
  • Growth: Large tree, over 40 feet
  • Cold-Hardiness: Down to 26°F
  • Fruit: Good-tasting, medium-large, less creamy
  • Bloom & Ripen: Spring, ripens October-February
  • Noteworthy: Consistently high-yielding, Zutano is a garden-friendly choice.
Zutano Avocado

5. Winter Mexican Avocado

  • Zones: 8b-11
  • Growth: Can reach 40 feet or more
  • Cold-Hardiness: 20-25°F
  • Fruit: Similar to Hass but smaller, early producer
  • Bloom & Ripen: Mid spring-early summer, November-January
  • Noteworthy: Despite its name, it’s not the coldest hardy but ripens in winter.
Winter Mexican Avocado

6. Brogdon Avocado

  • Zones: 8b-11
  • Growth: Over 30 feet tall, dense canopy
  • Cold-Hardiness: Down to 24°F
  • Fruit: Buttery, large, dark purple when ripe
  • Bloom & Ripen: Mid spring-early summer, August-November
  • Noteworthy: Brogdon’s rich, buttery flesh makes it a guacamole favorite.
Brogdon Avocado

7. Joey Avocado

  • Zones: 8b-11
  • Growth: Up to 25 feet or taller
  • Cold-Hardiness: 15-18°F briefly
  • Fruit: Small, flavorful, nutty, dark purple to black skin
  • Bloom & Ripen: Spring, August-October
  • Noteworthy: Joey is noted for its self-fruitfulness, thriving even without a pollinator.
Joey Avocado

8. Wilma aka Brazos Belle Avocado

  • Zones: 8-11
  • Growth: 20-25 feet tall, early fruiting
  • Cold-Hardiness: 15-18°F
  • Fruit: Medium, long, narrow, Hass-like flavor, purplish black skin
  • Bloom & Ripen: Winter-spring, October-November
  • Noteworthy: Wilma, with its trusted rootstock, ensures consistent cold tolerance and quality fruit.
Wilma aka Brazos Belle Avocado

Both Type A & B Flowers

Wurtz (Little Cado) Avocado

  • Zones: 9-11
  • Growth: 10 to 15 feet, ideal for small spaces
  • Cold-Hardiness: Frost-sensitive below 32°F
  • Fruit: Small to medium, good-tasting, green-skinned
  • Bloom & Ripen: Late winter to spring, with fruits maturing from May to September
  • Noteworthy: Self-pollinating with both Type A and B flowers; perfect for container gardening
Wurtz (Little Cado) Avocado

Understanding Avocado Varieties and Their Cross-Pollination

Diving into the realm of avocado cultivation reveals a fascinating dynamic between the two primary types of avocados, Type A and Type B. Each type plays a unique role in the pollination process, essential for fruit development. Here’s a closer look at these categories and their significance in growing healthy avocado trees.

Type A and Type B Avocado Varieties

Type A avocados, such as Hass, are characterized by their flowering pattern, where their female parts are available in the morning, transitioning to male in the afternoon of the next day. This group includes varieties like Hass, Lamb Hass, and Gwen, known for their rich, creamy texture and high oil content.

Type B avocados, on the other hand, display the opposite pattern: their male parts are available in the morning, switching to female in the afternoon. Fuerte and Bacon are examples of Type B, often having thinner skins and a slightly more watery flesh compared to Type A varieties.

Cross-Pollination: Maximizing Fruit Production

Cross-pollination between Type A and Type B avocados can significantly enhance fruit yield. While many avocado trees are self-fruitful, having both types nearby can lead to a more successful crop. For instance, Hass (Type A) and Fuerte (Type B) are commonly paired in commercial orchards to improve pollination efficiency and fruit set.

Pollination Proximity and Practicality

The proximity required for effective cross-pollination can vary, with recommendations ranging from 25 to 30 feet to within a few neighborhood blocks. The local prevalence of avocado trees can also influence pollination success, meaning even solo trees in avocado-rich areas may fare well.

The Unique Biology of Avocado Flowers

Avocado flowers are unique in their sexual transformation, complicating self-pollination but creating opportunities for biodiversity and cross-pollination strategies. This botanical characteristic underlines the need for diverse planting in avocado cultivation, ensuring a balance between Type A and Type B varieties for optimal fruit production.

The Avocado Growing Essentials

Avocado trees, irrespective of type, share common requirements: they thrive in USDA hardiness zones 8 or 9 through 11, need ample sunlight and water, and demand well-draining soil to avoid root rot. While purchasing a grafted nursery tree can yield fruit within a few years, growing avocados from pits is a longer process, often taking over a decade to bear fruit. Importantly, avocados mature on the tree but ripen off it, necessitating a post-harvest ripening period.

More Articles You Might Enjoy:


  1. What makes the Wurtz avocado unique among other varieties?
    Explore the dwarf nature of Wurtz (Little Cado), its ability to self-pollinate, and its suitability for small spaces and container gardening.
  2. Can I grow different types of avocado trees together for better yield?
    Discuss the benefits of cross-pollination between Type A and Type B avocados and how it can increase fruit production.
  3. Why are some avocado varieties called ‘greenskins’ and others not?
    Explain the difference in skin texture and color between Type A and Type B avocados, focusing on the thinner, greener skin of Type B varieties.
  4. What are the best conditions for growing a Hass avocado tree?
    Detail the specific climate, soil, and care requirements that make for the optimal growth and fruiting of a Hass avocado.
  5. How long does it take for an avocado tree to bear fruit?
    Clarify the time frames for fruit production between grafted nursery trees and those grown from pits, highlighting the variances among different avocado types.
  6. Are there any avocado varieties that can withstand colder climates?
    Identify which avocado varieties, such as Mexicola Grande, are more cold-hardy and suitable for growth in cooler regions.
  7. What should I know about planting avocados in containers?
    Offer guidance on container size, soil type, watering, and fertilization needs for successfully growing avocados in containers, particularly dwarf varieties like Wurtz.
  8. How can I tell when an avocado fruit is ready to harvest?
    Discuss the signs of maturity in avocado fruits, including changes in color and texture, and the correct timing for harvesting to ensure ripeness after picking.
  9. Why is cross-pollination important for avocado trees, and how can I facilitate it?
    Explain the mechanics of avocado flower pollination and provide tips for arranging Type A and Type B trees in proximity to enhance fruit set.
  10. What are some lesser-known avocado varieties that offer unique flavors or textures?
    Highlight some of the less common varieties, such as Lamb Hass or Gwen, and describe their distinct taste and texture profiles compared to more mainstream types.

Dived into the avocado world with us? We’d love to hear your experiences and tips! Which variety is your favorite, and do you have any unique growing insights? Share your thoughts and join the avocado-loving community in the comments below. Don’t forget to pass this guide along to fellow enthusiasts and let’s spread the avocado joy together!

Kristine Moore
Kristine Moore
Forestry Author

I'm Kristine Moore, a seasoned garden landscaping professional with over 30 years of experience. My extensive career has been dedicated to transforming outdoor spaces into stunning, sustainable landscapes. With a deep understanding of horticulture, design principles, and environmental stewardship, I have become a respected figure in the field, known for creating harmonious, visually appealing, and eco-friendly gardens. My commitment to excellence and continuous learning in landscaping trends and techniques has solidified my reputation as an expert in garden design and implementation.


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