Carica papaya L.
Carica papaya, commonly known as papaya, is a tree.
Carica papaya was described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753. The name is considered as validly published.
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
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.
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.
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 1Â°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
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.
Pests and Diseases
- Walter Erhardt, Erich GÃ¶tz, Nils BÃ¶deker, Siegmund Seybold: Der groÃe 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.