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  Carica papaya L.
  Family Name : Caricaceae

  Synonyms : Carica posoposa, Carica carica, Carica peltata

  Common Names : Papaya, Betik, Pawpaw, Betek, Melon Tree, Ketalah

  Chinese Name : 木瓜, 番木瓜

Papaya,Betik,Pawpaw,Betek,Melon Tree,Ketalah
  • Record Info
    • Featured in '1001 Garden Plants in Singapore' Book (2ed) :
  • Life Stage & Characteristics
    • Plant Division :
      Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
      Plant Growth Form :
      Shrub (Herbaceous)
      Mode of Nutrition :
      Plant Shape :
      Maximum Height :
      2 m to 10 m
  • Biogeography
    • Native Distribution :
      Central America
      Native Habitat :
      Preferred Climate Zone :
      Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
      Local Conservation Status :
      Exotic (Spontaneous (Casual))
  • Description & Ethnobotany
    • Plant Morphology :
      Growth Form: It is a succulent evergreen tree which grows up to 6 m tall.
      Crown: Umbrella-like due to the canopy of palmate-lobed leaves. 
      Foliage: Leaves are lobed, leaf stalks measuring up to 1 m long, alternately arranged on the stem. 
      Stems: Stem single, unbranched, non-woody, has scars of old leaf base.
      Flowers: Some papaya plants are dioecious (having male and female flowers in separate tree) while others are hermaphroditic (having both male and female flowers in one tree). Trumpet-shaped, fragrant, yellow to white, males in long raceme, females in small clusters or sometimes solitary. 
      Fruits: Large, fleshy, melon-like shape, hanging in clusters which are attached to the stem top just below the leaves, green when young and ripens to orange-yellow.. 
      Cultivation :
      Grown for fruit production from seeds. It is advised to wrap / bag the fruits to avoid attacks from the fruit flies.
      Etymology :
      The genus Carica means from Caria (mistakenly thought to be the origin).
      Ethnobotanical Uses :
      Edible Plant Parts (Edible Fruits; Edible Seeds)
      Food (Fruit & Vegetable: The sweet and juicy fruits are eaten or made as ingredients in jellies or preserves, or cooked as vegetables. ; Herb & Spice: The black seeds are ground and used as a substitute for black pepper due to their sharp and spicy taste.)
      Edible Plant Parts (Edible Fruits; Edible Seeds), Medicinal (The latex was said to be effective against toothache. )
      [Others]: The enzyme extracted from young papaya's milky sap, called as papain, is used as a meat tenderizer, and in chewing gum production. Papaya is also used in shampoos and cosmetics.
  • Landscaping Features
    • Desirable Plant Features :
      Fragrant (Flowers)
      Plant & Rootzone Preference/Tolerance :
      Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils, Easy to Grow
      Landscape Uses :
      General, Parks & Gardens, Container Planting
  • Fauna, Pollination & Dispersal
    • Associated Fauna :
      Seed / Spore Dispersal :
      Biotic (Fauna)
  • Plant Care & Propagation
    • Light Preference :
      Full Sun
      Water Preference :
      Moderate Water
      Plant Growth Rate :
      Propagation Method :
  • Foliar
    • Foliage Retention :
      Mature Foliage Colour(s) :
      Foliar Type :
      Simple / Unifoliate
      Foliar Attachment to Stem :
      Foliar Shape(s) :
      Non-Palm Foliage (Palmate)
      Foliar Venation :
      Leaf Area Index (LAI) * for Green Plot Ratio :
      4.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Dicot)
  • Floral (Angiosperm)
    • Flower & Plant Sexuality :
      Unisexual & Bisexual Flowers(Sub-dioecious)
      Flower Colour(s) :
      FlowerTexture(s) :
      Flower Grouping :
      Solitary, Cluster / Inflorescence
      Flower Location :
      Individual Flower Shape :
      Inflorescence Type :
      Flowering Period :
  • Fruit, Seed & Spore
    • Mature Fruit Colour(s) [Angiosperms & Gymnosperms] :
      Mature Fruit Texture(s) :
      Fruit Classification :
      Simple Fruit
      Fruit Type :
      Fleshy Fruit (Non-Accessory Fruit)
      Mature Seed Colour(s) :
      Seed Quantity per Fruit :
      Numerous (>20)
The information given on this website has been compiled from reference works on medicinal plants and/or pron only. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Reliance on this information is strictly at your own risk. You should always consult your physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.

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