Mary Lu Arpaia, a UC Cooperative Extension horticulturist based at UCR, holds a Luna UCR avocados at that South Coast Research and Extension Center, on July 26, 2023, in Irvine. The research site is the location where the Luna UCR avocado is being grown. (UCR/Stan Lim)
Stan Lim—UC Riverside
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The Luna UCR is one very special avocado. The result of a decades-long breeding program at the University of California, Riverside, it has a flavor similar to that of its popular relative, the Hass, but a bit more “floral,” says program horticulturist Mary Lu Arpaia. The Luna UCR is ripe as soon as its skin turns black—which takes the guesswork out of slicing in—and it stays fresh long enough to transport. Luna UCR trees are as bountiful as Hass trees, but smaller, meaning they’re easier to harvest and require less land—and potentially less water and electricity. It’ll take a few years before they hit grocery stores.

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