avocado (äˈvəkäˈdo, ăvˈ–) [key], tropical American broad-leaved evergreen tree of the genus Persea of the family Lauraceae (laurel family). The fruit, called avocado, alligator pear, or, in Spanish, aguacate, has a high oil content. It is eaten fresh, chiefly in salads and guacamole. The avocado was cultivated by the Aztecs. Avocados are classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Magnoliales, family Lauraceae.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.