Family: Lauraceae

Latin name: Persea americana

Vernacular name: Palta, huira palta

Ethnobotany
Avocados are very popular in the region and often eaten with bread. The cooked seed is eaten to induce abortion. Depending on who you ask, it is believed that eating avocados can both help or hurt the liver. The effects of avocados on the body vary according to a person’s needs and condition. The oily pulp is considered bad at certain times and people must avoid eating it. It is also used as a skin treatment. In Tahuayo, rodent traps are made in avocado trees.

Agroforestry
Avocado prefers some shade and fertile restinga soils. Flooding damages and kills it. Root rot is a problem in moist areas, and wind can blow over trees with rotten roots. In Tahuayo, the people plant the trees in groves that are surrounded by forests in order to have shade, leaf litter, and reduced winds. Quararibea cordata and cacao are planted in association with it. Rodents will eat the seeds, so seedlings are carefully transplanted, often when large. The top of seed can be cut off to speed germination. Avocados are a valuable crop, and theft is now discouraging cultivation in some areas.

Avocados from the Tahuayo.

Avocados from the Tahuayo.

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