Carica papaya

COMMON NAME

Papaya

TYPE

Tree

FAMILY

Caricaceae

NOTES

The papaya is a small, sparsely branched tree, usually with a single stem growing from 16 to 33 ft tall, with spirally arranged leaves confined to the top of the trunk. The lower trunk is conspicuously scarred where leaves and fruit were borne. The leaves are large, 20–28 in in diameter, deeply palmately lobed, with seven lobes. All parts of the plant contain latex in articulated laticifers.  Papaya's are either Male or Female and both bare sweet-scented flowers that open at night and are moth-pollinated.  Female flowers give way to smooth-skinned green fruits that ripen to yellow-orange with a yellow to pinkish-orange flesh and central cavity of pea-sized black seeds. Fruits and seeds are edible.

GEOGRAPHIC REGION

Southern Mexico and neighboring Central America

NATIVE HABITAT

Wild populations grow in open sites of deciduous tropical forests or tropical rain forests in well drained, deep soils

WEB SOURCES

wikipedia.org

missouribotanicalgarden.org

hort.purdue.edu



Carica papaya