Carica papaya

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Carica papaya L.

Caricaceae

Life form: tree
Usage: economic plant

Exposure: sun   10

Moisture: moderately moist

Arrangement: alternate
Leaves: evergreen

Shape: palmately lobed

Division: simple

Shape: cup-shaped
Fruit: berry

3D / efe981 

Inflorescence: raceme

Petals: not specified
Habit: not specified

Growth form: not specified

Taxonomy

Divisio:
Magnoliophyta
Subdivisio:
Magnoliophytina
Classis:
Rosopsida
Subclassis:
Dilleniidae
Superordo:
Violanae
Ordo:
Caricales

Carica papaya, commonly known as papaya, is a tree.

Naming

Carica papaya was described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753. The name is considered as validly published.

Taxonomy

Carica papaya is the type species of the genus Carica which contains approximately 23 to 32 species and belongs to the family of the Caricaceae (Papaya Family).

Characteristics

Growth

The trees reach heights of 8 to 10 metres and are comparatively fast-growing and short-lived. They have a erect habit and produce a single stem, the main growing season is all year round.

Wood and Bark

Leaves

Carica papaya is evergreen. The yellow-green, simple leaves are alternate. They are palmately lobed, lobate and petiolate. The foliage is dense.

Flowers and Fruits

Carica papaya produces racemes of showy, ligth-yellow cup-shaped flowers in .

All year round the trees produce an abundance of orange berries that are both edible and very ornamental.

Root System

Distribution

Carica papaya is native to South America and is naturalized in Florida, Mexico, Central America, in the West Indies, in tropical Africa and tropical Asia.

Cultivation

The trees prefer a sunny situation on moderately moist soil. The substrate should be comparatively rich with a pH between 5 and 8. The plants need a soil depth of at least 1.02 metres for good growth. They tolerate temperatures only above at least 1°C (USDA zone 10) and need a frost-free period of at least 52 weeks.

Tolerance of special soil conditions

  • low: anaerobic soil, drought
  • medium: soil salinity, calcareous soil

Uses

The ornamental value of Carica papaya lies especially in the attractive autumn aspect and its fragrance. The recommended planting distance is 2,5 metres.

Maintenance and Propagation

The plants usually need very little maintenance.

Propagate by sowing.

Cultivars

Pests and Diseases

Literature

  • Walter Erhardt, Erich Götz, Nils Bödeker, Siegmund Seybold: Der große Zander. Eugen Ulmer KG, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8001-5406-7. (Ger.)
  • Christoper Brickell (Editor-in-chief): RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. Third edition. Dorling Kindersley, London 2003, ISBN 0-7513-3738-2.

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