Thursday, March 1, 2012

Avocado Trees in Bloom


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Clusters of avocado blossoms




Avocado season is mostly pau (Hawaiian for "finished"), but there is one tree left outside our window with a few pear-shaped avocados dangling down. The Maui wind is whipping the branches right now, and will leave broken twigs and leaves on the grass by morning. A few avocados may fall down in the middle of the night, thumping on the grass, to be gnawed by rats. One or two of these may survive the night time nibbling, so in the morning, I'll poke around the fallen leaves to look for an unblemished one. 


This one tree is left with fruit, but the others are blossoming, with tiny flowers fuzzing the edges of the trees. The fierce Maui wind will also rip blossoms from the trees, but the surviving wind-tossed flowers will bear fruit in the fall. By planting the right varieties of avocados, one can have avocados for 10 months out of the year. Our trees are not the right varieties though; they are all "poi dog" avocados, of unknown varieties, cross-breeding in a promiscuous way with nearby avocado trees. They are round and cannonball shaped, or the size of small Vienna sausages, or almost pear shaped like Hass avocados, or somewhat in-between, like a cross between a Puerto Rican soft-skinned avocado and a butter avocado. Some have smooth shells inside, that can be scraped cleanly from the avocado fruit, and others have a crumbly shell, that leaves brown bits on the green fruit inside.



Fuzzy sprays of avocado blossoms

A bee, barely visible, flying around the blossoms. 

More avocados flowering. 
Each tree produces a massive quantity of blossoms, because very few survive to become fruit. 





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