The scientific name for the avocado is Persea americana, which means "alligator pear" in Latin. The name suggests that its roots lie in the Americas, or more specifically, Southern Mexico and Central America. Evidence suggests that avocados were cultivated as early as 6000 B.C. in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Today, three types of avocados are widely recognized: West Indian, Guatemalan and Mexican avocados. Most avocados are produced in Mexico. South Africa and Israel produce a large number of avocados each year as well. Avocados thrive only in certain climates. They do not grow well in regions that are too rainy, extremely hot, very cold or too dry.