return to: checklist; keys; family Caricaceae

Carica papaya L.; papaya

Small tree with weak, pithy stems, monopodial or sparingly branched; leaves alternate, simple, deeply palmately lobed, the lobes in turn deeply lobed; dioecious; staminate flower clusters on long, branched pedicels arising from the leaf axils; staminate flower petals yellow, anthers orange; pistillate flowers short-pedicelled, in axillary clusters, petals and stigmas yellow; fruit large, green, fleshy, edible.

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In addition to the edible fruits, papaya is listed as an important source of pollen and/or nectar for bees (Souza Novello 1981).