Avocado Sharwil
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.

Avocado sharwil fruit cut Sharwil fruit
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 origin.

The tree
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 climate provides.

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 20oC nights.

The fruit
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.