by Stephen Mifsud
   24 Jun 2024      ()
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Carica papaya   (Papaya)

Carica papaya  (CARICACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands after year 2000.

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Profile Date Aug-2022 (taxon update: none)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (2022). Carica papaya - datasheet created on Aug-2022. Retrieved from on 24-Jun-2024

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Carica papayaL.
Published in Sp. Pl. : 1036 (1753)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Papaya vulgaris DC.
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life] []

Plant Family :

Caricaceae Dumort. (The Papaya Family)
1 species from the Caricaceae family is recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :


Maltese name(s) :

Papajja, Siġra tal-Papajja

Status for Malta :

Persisting Alien. Introduced species for horticulture (flowering plants) or agriculture (herbs or fruiting trees) usually within the last 2 centuries and persist after their original location or site is abandoned. They do not widespread but usually remain as a single tree or a very localised population.

Frequency :

Very Common     Common    Frequent     Scarce     Rare    Very rare    Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: Macro-Phanerophyte ( high trees usually over 10 m high )
Germination [info]: Dicotyledon

Legal Protection :

Not legally protected till the last update of this website (2/Mar/2022)

Red List (1989) :

Not listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :

March – April

Colour of Flowers:



Not particularly toxic

Name Derivation :


Planting in rural areas :

Can be planted in rural areas according to ERA Guidelines

Remarks :

The papaya tree is more frequently encoutered in Gozo.

Description, Habitat and Distribution
Habitat in Europe: Data will be available in the next update of this website.
Preferred habitat in Malta: Cultivated fields or private gardens, but occassionally remains alive in abandoned cultivations.
Botanical Description: rees or shrubs 8-10 m tall. Stem simple, with stipulate scars helically arranged. Petiole hollow, 60-100 cm; leaf blade ca. 60 cm, usually 5-9 palmatifid; lobes pinnatifid. Male inflorescence pendulous, to 1 m. Male flowers: pedicel absent; corolla tube creamy yellow, 1.6-2.5 cm, lobes lanceolate, ca. 1.8 × 0.45 cm; stamens 5 longer and 5 shorter, shorter ones almost without filaments; filaments white, white tomentose. Female flowers usually solitary or aggregated in corymbose cymes; pedicel short or nearly absent; calyx lobes ca. 1 cm; corolla lobes creamy yellow, oblong or lanceolate, 5-6.2 × 1.2-2 cm; ovary ovoid; stigmas partite, nearly fimbriate. Bisexual flowers: corolla tube 1.9-2.5 cm, lobes oblong, ca. 2.8 × 0.9 cm; stamens 5 or 10 in 1 or 2 whorls; ovary smaller than in female flowers. Fruit orange-yellow or yellow at maturity, cylindric, ovoid-cylindric, or subglobose, 10-30 cm; sarcocarp soft with a mild, pleasant flavor. Seeds numerous, black at maturity, ovoid
Chromosome number: 2n=18

Links & Further literature (0 papers)

Google Web

Google Images

Google Scholar

Research Gate




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



World Flora Online

Plants of the World Online

Vienna Virt. Herb.

RBGE Herbarium

KEW Herbarium




Kindly Email if there are papers and publications about local studies or information about this species to be included in the list above.

Species Images (12 images)
   Carica papaya   -   Image Code: CARPY-0.
   Carica papaya   -   Image Code: CARPY-1.
   Carica papaya   -   Image Code: CARPY-2.
   Carica papaya   -   Image Code: CARPY-3.
   Carica papaya   -   Image Code: CARPY-4.
   Carica papaya   -   Image Code: CARPY-5.
   Carica papaya   -   Image Code: CARPY-6.
   Carica papaya   -   Image Code: CARPY-7.
   Carica papaya   -   Image Code: CARPY-8.
   Carica papaya   -   Image Code: CARPY-9.
   Carica papaya   -   Image Code: CARPY-10.
   Carica papaya   -   Image Code: CARPY-11.

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