by Laurie Meadows
Summary: Sharwil avocado variety is a shy-bearing (in New
Zealand), superb quality, green-skinned avocado that ripens in late
spring in Auckland, just before Hass, and about the same time as
Maluma. It is a is a 'B' flowering type. It starts
flowering about the same time as Pinkerton, and due to its long
flowering season, also overlaps the start of both Reed and Gwen
flowering. In New Zealand it is used mainly as a pollenizer variety.
Sharwil (sometimes incorrectly spelled Sharwill) was a chance seedling
on the property of Frank Sharpe at Mt. Tamborine,
south of Brisbane, Queensland. It was developed and introduced in 1954
by the new owner of the Sharpe property, James Wilson. The variety name
'Sharwil' is derived from the surnames of Sharpe and Wilson. The
University of California lists Sharwil as being of Guatemalan x Mexican
The sharwil tree is medium sized, fairly upright in growth. The side
branches tend to be long, with relatively little lateral branching. The leaves in a
healthy tree are quite large. Sharwil flowers relatively heavily, and
produces prodigious amounts of pollen. I have relatively rarely seen
female flowers on this cultivar. Like many 'B' types, triggering of
female flowering in this cultivar probably requires more heat than our
Sedgley (1977) and
Sedgley & Grant (1983) suggest the optimum temperature for the B
type avocado flowering, flower overlap, and fruit set is 25oC days and
Most Sharwil fruit are larger than Fuerte,
averaging around 350 grams,
and ranging from around 220 grams (similar to Hass) up to about 450
grams. Like Fuerte, they are a green skinned variety. The photo above
doesn't capture the true color of Sharwil, which is a greyish-green.
The seed is small
to very small. The skin is a little thicker than Fuerte, and peels
well. Like Fuerte, it is somewhat prone to splitting at the base.
Sharwil is the best tasting avocado in the world according to some -
better even than Hass. The flesh is very oily, rich and creamy tasting.
There is no bitterness or bacony note. Sharwil is not as 'nutty' as
Hass, but has a mild but rich fullness of flavor and lingering creamy
after-taste that transcends Hass.
The flesh when ripe seems a little firmer than Hass. Softening is easy
to detect, and in very mature fruit there may be some black skin
spotting (which doesn't usually affect the flesh beneath). The flesh
resists discoloring when cut - a very useful characteristic. The flesh
is free of fibers, and is usually unaffected by rots.
About mid spring in the warmer parts of New Zealand, with early set
fruit perhaps a month sooner. Like Pinkerton, fruit will hold on the
tree until November, and possibly longer.