Catalina avocados are prized for their creamy texture and large size, weighing up to two pounds each. In their native Cuba, trees are said to produce up to 1,000 avocados annually.
The Catalina avocado is native to Cuba and has been naturalized to Florida. The tree itself is distinguishable from other varieties because of its somewhat rounded, rather than elongated, leaves. A Catalina avocado tree can grow to a mature height of about 30 feet with a width of about 20 feet.
Like most avocado trees, this robust plant grows well in USDA hardiness zones 9 – 11, but it can survive in zones four and up when grown indoors or on a patio. Avocado trees cannot withstand freezing temperatures and should not be exposed to frost, but the Catalina avocado will tolerate temperatures as low as 28 – 32°F.
The Catalina avocado has an elongated, pear-like appearance, although it can be almost lemon-shaped, bulging in the middle and tapering at both ends. When mature, the thin, smooth skin is a bright, lime green hue, and the creamy flesh is pale yellow. Considered a large variety, this avocado can weigh nearly two pounds on average.
Trees can flower as early as March, leading to harvest as early as June, extending well into fall, with peak harvest in early fall. Although this plant is self-pollinating, proximity to other avocado trees will increase cross-pollination and yield.