SelecTree: Tree Detail
Photo Locations: Hawaiian Islands
A ubiquitous small fruit tree grown commonly in home gardens and backyards, as well as plantations. They perform best in full sunlight, and can produce nutritious, tasty fruit year round. It is used in various ways as food: dried, baked, candied, made into jam, juiced. The fruit contains the enzyme papain, which breaks down proteins. The fruits were also used medicinally by early Hawaiians. Carica papaya has a HPWRA (Hawai'i Pacific Weed Risk Assessment) score of 2 (Evaluate).
Native to Mexico and northern South America.
Trees may be referred to as male or female.
Additional Common Names
Erect with a High Canopy.
Has Evergreen foliage.
Height: 25 - 30 feet.
Width: 5 feet.
Growth Rate: 24 Inches per Year.
Leaves Deeply Palmately Lobed, Green, No Change, Evergreen.
Flowers Showy. White. Flowers in Fall, Winter, Spring or Summer. Has either male or female reproductive parts (dioecious). Trees may be sold as male or female.
Prolific, Orange Red Berry, Very Large (Over 3.00 inches), fruiting in Fall, Winter, Spring or Summer Edible and Wildlife use it.
Bark Light Brown, Scaly or Smooth.
Shading Capacity Rated as Low in Leaf.
Litter Issue is Wet Fruit.
Tree Site Conditions & Constraints
Sunset Zones H1, H2.
USDA Hardiness Zones 10 - 11.
Exposure Full Sun.
Well Drained Soil.
Loam or Sand Texture.
Neutral to Slightly Alkaline Soil pH.
Seaside Tolerance is Good.
Pests & Disease Information
Resistant to Some cultivars resistant to Phytophthora. Susceptible to Spider Mites, Fruit Flies, Red Mites, Ringspot Virus, Anthracnose, Rot.
Health, Safety & Environmental Concerns
Root Damage Potential Rated as High.
Irritant Health Hazard.
Desirable Wildlife Plant.
Wildlife use Fruit.
Special Uses & Values
Fruit Tree, Landscape Ornamental.
Cite this tree:
SelecTree. "Carica papaya Tree Record." 1995-2021. Apr 16, 2021.
< https://selectree.calpoly.edu/tree-detail/carica-papaya >