Carica papaya

Linnaeus

Sp. Pl. 2: 1036. 1753

Common names: Papaya papaw pawpaw lechosa
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 7. Treatment on page 171. Mentioned on page 170.
Click plate for higher resolution version.
Illustrator: Linny Heagy
Plants ca. 6 m. Stems to ca. 20 cm diam., bark green to gray or brown, leaf scars prominent, smooth. Leaves drooping proximally, erect or spreading distally; petiole 35–70 cm, hollow; blade round in general contour, 20–60 cm diam., shallowly to deeply palmately 5–9-lobed, lobes lanceolate to ovate, margins entire or pinnately divided into lanceolate to ovate lobes. Inflorescences 15–60 cm; bracts ± rhombic. Staminate flowers sessile; calyx green, short-tubular, ca. 1.5 mm, teeth triangular to linear; corolla white, 2–3.5 cm, lobes narrowly oblong, ca. 1.3 cm; stamens yellow. Pistillate flowers subsessile; calyx yellow, short-tubular, 5–10 mm, teeth triangular to linear; petals lanceolate-oblong, white to pale yellow, 3–5 cm; ovary ellipsoidal to rounded, 2–3 cm. Berries hanging from trunk near summit, green to orange, ellipsoidal to oblong, rounded distally, 8–45 cm. Seeds blackish. 2n = 18.

Phenology: Flowering and fruiting year round.
Habitat: Disturbed areas, waste places, hummocks, roadsides
Elevation: 0-100 m

Distribution

V7 205-distribution-map.gif

Fla., Central America, nw South America, introduced also pantropically.

Discussion

Carica papaya is widely cultivated in tropical regions worldwide for its large melonlike fruit, one of the most popular tropical fruits, and occasionally as an ornamental. Papaya fruit is a good source of calcium, and vitamins A and C. Except for the ripe fruit, all parts of the plant possess a milky sap that contains the proteolytic enzymes papain and chymopapain, widely used to tenderize meat. Immature fruit, leaves, and flowers are also used as a cooked vegetable. Papaya also has industrial and pharmaceutical applications, including use in chewing gums, brewing, drugs for digestive ailments, treatment of gangrenous wounds, use in the textile industry, and use in production of soaps and shampoos.

The species is cultivated in extreme southern Texas, where occasional seedlings arise from seeds discarded in waste places or dumps but are never persistent.

References

None.

Lower Taxa

No lower taxa listed.

Facts about "Carica papaya"
AuthorWalter C. Holmes +
AuthorityLinnaeus +
Common namePapaya +, papaw +, pawpaw + and lechosa +
DistributionFla. +, Central America +, nw South America + and introduced also pantropically. +
Elevation0-100 m +
HabitatDisturbed areas, waste places, hummocks, roadsides +
IllustratorLinny Heagy +
Introducedtrue +
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting year round. +
Publication titleSp. Pl. +
Publication year1753 +
ReferenceNone +
Source xmlhttps://jpend@bitbucket.org/aafc-mbb/fna-data-curation.git/src/f6b125a955440c0872999024f038d74684f65921/coarse grained fna xml/V7/V7 205.xml +
Taxon familyCaricaceae +
Taxon nameCarica papaya +
Taxon parentCarica +
Taxon rankspecies +
VolumeVolume 7 +