Bob Bergh directed the avocado breeding program at the University of California for four decades. He planted tens of thousands of avocado seeds. But he chose one to name after his wife: Gwen.

I know more than one person who has eaten many avocado varieties and calls Gwen their favorite. I try not to have a favorite avocado variety, but I wouldn’t argue if you included me in that group.

I’m honored to be able to harvest some Gwens for you from this old tree in the Laferriere Grove in San Bernardino County, California. (Here is the order page with details.)

Gwen avocado tree, Laferriere grove.

From the outside, Gwen avocados look very similar to Hass except that they don’t turn black as they ripen. (Gwens do sometimes get a few dark spots on their green skins as they ripen though.) The skin of a Gwen is a little stiffer than the skin of Hass.

Gwen avocado.

On the inside, Gwen avocados have seeds about the same size as Hass, maybe slightly larger, and the flesh can be a tad paler. The flesh of Gwen also cracks sometimes. It’s a firm, dense flesh, but it is also creamy and without any fiber.

The taste of Gwen, oh the taste of Gwen! It has a unique, nutty richness that I love. More than that, Gwen is also a pleasure to eat because its tough peel makes it very easy to scoop out with a spoon.

Bob Bergh and his assistant Gray Martin performed taste tests with Gwen and Hass over a period of ten years, and they found that the rating of Gwen rose above Hass in mid-April and remained superior to Hass for the rest of its season. Gwen also reached a higher peak rating for taste (“GOOD+”) than Hass ever did. (See “Determining the Optimum Time to Pick Gwen” in the 1988 California Avocado Society Yearbook.)

Gwen avocados hanging on a tree also maintain exceptional eating quality well into the summer.

I will pack a box of Gwens harvested from the Laferriere Grove and ship them to your door. I’ll fit as many as I can into the box, likely 8-10 avocados.

I’ll be harvesting on Tuesday, May 3, and shipping on the next day. The box of Gwens should arrive to you by Saturday, May 7.

Here is the order page with details.

Here is my (very short) video profile of the Gwen avocado:

Here is a post about my planting a Gwen tree to mark the birth of my daughter.

Extra fun fact: Gwen is the mother of GEM. Bob Bergh planted many Gwen seeds, considering it an excellent breeding parent, and one of those Gwen seeds grew into the avocado tree later christened GEM. So if you recently ordered a box of GEMs, it might be fun to compare them to their mother: Gwen.

I’ve yet to write a profile post on the Gwen variety. I’ll do so in the next month, along with a video about the tree. Until then, here’s a deeper read on the variety: “The Gwen Avocado” by Bob Bergh and Gray Martin.

I don’t know anywhere else one can buy Gwen avocados right now. Please let us know in the comments section if you do.

All of my Yard Posts are HERE

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