What you see: Strings in your avocado.
What they are: Vascular bundles!
Eat or toss: Eat! The avocado is fine, just not as creamy as you might like.
Why do some avocados have strings?
A stringy avocado won’t win any awards for creaminess, but it’s still perfectly fine to eat. Despite being an annoying intrusion on your guacamole prep, the strings, which scientists call “vascular bundles,” are essential to the avocado: the “strings” are actually channels that transport water and critical nutrients.
In an ideal avocado, those bundles of nutrient ferrying channels blend into the avocado’s flesh so well you don’t notice them. A number of factors can, however, make them more prominent. Some varieties are simply stringier. Avocados harvested early in the season are more likely to sport the more fibrous channels. (Since avocados have a number of “seasons” and are grown in countries with different climates we can’t pinpoint this to a specific month.)
According to the California Avocado Commission, younger trees are more likely to produce stringy avocados. An avocado harvested too early, from a tree of any age, has a higher chance of prominent vascular bundles. Improper storage between harvest and your plate can also lead to stringiness.
So, no, this won’t be the best dip you’ve ever made, but once your stringy avocado is blended into guac, you may barely notice those little bundles of plant plumbing.
(In other scenarios, vascular bundles might turn brown, but not go stringy. Learn more about that in this post. If your avocado is both stringy and brown there may be multiple issues at play.)
- Mary Lu Arpaia. Cooperative Extension Specialist. University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources.
- What’s Up With Stringy Avocados? Health.com. Kathleen Felton. April 12, 2017
- California Avocado Commission. FAQ. Accessed August 2022.
- The International Avocado Quality Manual. Edited by Anne White and Alan Woolf (Plant & Food Research, New Zealand); Peter Hofman (Primary Industries and Fisheries, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, Queensland, Australia); Mary Lu Arpaia (University of California, Riverside).
Plantcast called to offer a deal on vascular bundles.