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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Persea (avocado genus)

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > magnoliids > Order: Laurales > Family: Lauraceae

About 150 species worldwide (tropics). Two species are cultivated in this region, including the well-known Avocado Persea americana, which has become naturalised in Zimbabwe.

Species naturalised in southern Africa

List from Flora of Zimbabwe.

Persea americana (Avocado)

Native to Central and South America and domesticated by 500 BC. The name 'Avocado' and comes from the Aztec name meaning 'testicle tree'.

Species cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002).

Persea borbonia (Red bay)

Native to the SE USA.



  • Glen, H.F. 2002. Cultivated Plants of Southern Africa. Jacana, Johannesburg.