PAPAYA TREE – Carica papaya L.
|Latin (Binominal) Name||Carica papaya L.|
|Botany Author Citation (L.)||Carl Linnaeus|
|Common Names||Papaya; Papaw or Paw Paw (Australia); Mamao (Brazil), Tree Melon.|
|Country of Origin||Mexico and Central America.|
|Average annual rainfall||304 millimetres (Mexico City)|
|Geographical Distribution||South America, Africa, India, Australia Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Hawaii.|
|Native Environment||Tropical and subtropical|
|Maturity Height: |
|5 to 10 metres|
|Maturity Canopy Spread:||1.5 to 2.5 metres|
|Maturity Trunk size:||Up to 20 cm in diameter|
|Leaf Description: |
|– Spirally arranged and palmate with seven lobes, soft hairs and up to 70cm in diameter.|
– Leaf stalks (petioles) can reach up to 1m long.
– The life of a leaf is 4 to 6 months
|Fruit||– Ripe fruit is usually eaten raw, without skin or seeds.|
– Unripe green fruit eaten cooked in curries and stews, sweets and deserts.
– High levels of pectin used to make jelly.
– Ripe papaya is usually consumed fresh as a breakfast or dessert fruit; it can also be processed and used in a variety of products such as jams, fruit juices, and ice cream
– Unripe, green papaya fruit and the leaves of the papaya tree contain an enzyme called papain. Papain has been used as a natural meat tenderizer for thousands of years and today is an ingredient in many commercial meat tenderizers.
|Nutrition||– Raw papaya pulp contains 88% water, 11% carbohydrates, and negligible fat and protein (table). In a 100 gram amount, papaya fruit provides 43 kilocalories and is a significant source of vitamin C (75% of the Daily Value, DV) and a moderate source of folate (10% DV), but otherwise has low content of nutrients|
– A small papaya contains about 300% of the recommended daily amount of Vitamin C.
|Seeds||– Sharp, spicy taste|
– Ground and used as a substitute for black pepper.
|Leaves||– Young leaves boiled as part of lalab salad|
– Steamed and eaten
– Tea made from papaya leaves is consumed in some countries as protection against malaria.
|Flower||– Sautéed and stir-fried as Minahasan papaya flower vegetable disk|
|Bark||– The bark of the papaya tree is often used to make rope.|
|Traditional Use and Folklore|
|– In some parts of the world, papaya leaves are made into tea as a treatment for malaria, no treatment method based has been scientifically proven|
– unripe papaya has been used for centuries by women as a natural contraceptive and to induce abortion
– The juice is used for warts, cancers, tumors, corns, and indurations of the skin.
– Leaves poulticed onto nervous pains and elephantoid growths.
– Roots said to cure piles and yaws
– Javanese believe that eating papaya prevents rheumatism.
– Dietary papaya does reduce urine acidity in humans.
– Inner bark used for sore teeth. Latex used in psoriasis, ringworm, and prescribed for the removal of cancerous growths in Cuba.
|Safety Issues and Precautions|
|– Unripe Papaya releases a latex fluid, possibly causing irritation and an allergic reaction in some people.|
– Large consumption of ripe papaya may cause carotenemia, harmless yellowing of soles and palms.
|Evergreen or Deciduous||Evergreen|
|Life Span||– Bloom to maturity is 5-8 months|
– Short-lived perennial, generally 3-5 years (commercial)
– 25 years + (wild)
|Production||Global production (2014) of papayas was 12.7 million tonnes, led by India (44%).|
|Year to 1st fruit||1 year|
|Years of fruit production||3-5 years|
|Harvesting||Papaya is harvested all year round with production peaks during autumn and spring.|
|Pollination||Based on flower type there are three types of papaya plants: female, hermaphrodite, and male. Hermaphrodite flowers are usually self-pollinating. Female flowers are probably pollinated by wind or by insects (thrips, moths). Hand pollination can be used for better fruit setting.|
|Growing Information||– Growing papaya trees is generally done from seed that is extracted from ripe fruit. Seeds will germinate in 2-3 weeks. Optimum germination temperature is around 70 F (20 C).|
– The best place to plant a papaya is on the south or southeast side of a house with some protection from wind and cold weather.
– Papayas grow best in full sun, well-drained soil, as standing water will kill the plant within 24 hours.
– Temperatures below −2 °C (29 °F) are greatly harmful if not fatal.
– Root growing above 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
– Cold Climate: Papaya is a tropical fruit tree but if you are thinking to plant it in a temperate climate plant it in a large pot and try to overwinter it in a well-protected area, like a greenhouse. [R3]
– Optimum temperature for growing papaya ranges between 68 – 86 F (20 to 30 C).
– Papaya tree can bear cold temperature down to 32 F (0 C) for a short period of time.
– Fertilize them regularly. A complete fertilizer, compost or something like chicken manure.
|Diseases||Virus diseases, mildew, anthracnose, root rot.|
|Mealybugs, thrips, mites, white flies, fruit spotting bugs, fruit flies.|
|Care Information||– Water frequently for best fruit production. Mulch trees (4+ inches), taking care to keep the mulch 8 to 12 inches from the trunk.|
– Protect developing fruit from pests by placing a paper bag over them until they are ripe.
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