The origin of the avocado and its varieties has been placed in the Mesoamerican area; however there are still some aspects that have not been entirely explained. We surveyed this issue integrating geological, archaeological and paleoecological data that allowed us to examine the most ancient ancestors, their geographic distribution and their possible dispersion routes. In the light of these data, we propose that the origin of the avocado could have been in the area currently occupied by Sierra Nevada (California) and that it could have occurred when the mountains emerged about 8 to 5 million years ago. Afterwards, the avocado migrated south where different domestications occurred and the current varieties evolved. Each variety was adapted to different ecological conditions and became domesticated by different cultural groups.
Mesoamerica; Dispersion; Wild avocados