Carica papaya-Papaya

Carica papaya on 9-3-09, #31-38.

Carica papaya
KAIR-ih-kuh puh-PIE-yuh

Carica papaya L. is the correct and accepted scientific name for the Papaya. It was named and described by Carl von Linnaeus in Species Plantarum in 1753.

Plants of the World Online by Kew lists 4 accepted species in the Carica genus, but the Wikipedia says there are 22. Plants of the World Online is fairly new and they are still uploading data. I checked with the World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, also by Kew, and it said my search returned no results… The 2013 version of The Plant List, which is no longer maintained, also shows 22 accepted species.

While I was living in Mississippi, Suzanne bought LOTS of seeds from an Ebay seller. One of the packets was Papaya seeds. I planted them and 3 came up. I transplanted them in the ground when they were large enough then later I decided to put them in large pots. I was surprised when I dug them up because all the soil fell off their roots. Their roots were very strange, kind of like fingers. Unfortunately they didn’t like being dug up and soon died.

Family: Caricaceae
Origin: Northern South America, Central America and Mexico.
Zones: 11-12 (40° F) (Dave’s Garden says Zones 9a-11)
Size: 6-30’
Light: Sun
Soil: Rich, hummus, consistently moist, well-drained soil
Water: Average water needs
Propagation: From seed
Uses: Can be grown in the ground in USDA Zones 11-12 otherwise grow in pots and bring them inside for the winter. Not frost tolerant.


I can’t give you any information from experience but you can check out the links below. Maybe someday I will plant another Papaya seed and see what happens. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you.


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