Flora of the Hawaiian Islands
Dicotyledon Literature for Carica papaya
Wagner et al., 1990, 1999; Lorence & Wagner, 2020.
   Caricaceae -- The Papaya Family Bibliography
      Carica papaya

Common name(s): papaya, he`i, mikana, milikana, papaia, pawpaw
General Information
DistributionNative to the Neotropics, widely cultivated in tropical regions.In the Hawaiian Islands, naturalized on Kaua`i, O`ahu, Moloka`i, Lana`i, Maui, Hawai`i.

Treelike, perennial herb, 6‒9 m tall; stem unbranched or with a few lateral branches, hollow, green or sometimes deep purple, to 30‒40 cm or more in diameter near the base, bearing prominent leaf scars, with leaves clustered distally.
Leaves simple, petiolate; blade 15‒60 cm wide, nearly as long, 5‒9-lobed, principal lobes pinnately lobed; petiole usually 30‒100 cm long, hollow.
Staminate flowers numerous, pendulous, in long-pedunculate, branched cymes, calyx lobes deltate, 1‒1.5 mm long, corolla creamy white, fleshy, tube 1.5‒2 cm long, lobes lanceolate to oblong, 1‒1.5 cm long, spreading, ovary vestigial, ca. 1 mm long; pistillate flowers 1‒3 in short-pedunculate clusters, calyx lobes deltate, 5‒10 mm long, corolla creamy white, fleshy, campanulate, divided nearly to base, lobes lanceolate, ± falcate, 5‒7 cm long, reflexed, stamens absent, ovary ovoid, ca. 3 cm long, stigma ca. 1 cm long, irregularly branched; perfect flowers similar to pistillate ones, but in slightly more delicate clusters.
Fruit yellow, orange, or red, ± streaked with green at maturity, extremely variable in size and shape, 5‒50 cm long, ca. 20 cm wide, pericarp yellow or orange, sweet and juicy.
Seeds gray-black, ellipsoid, ca. 5 mm long, coated with a transparent, gelatinous aril.
2n = 18, 36.
David Lorence & W. L. Wagner