University of Florida

Plant Identification Learning Module:
Fruits & Nuts

Papaya (Carica papaya)

Papaya trees can grow 10 to 12 feet high. Leaves with deeply lobed margins are on one to four foot long petioles. Flowers range from yellow to white. Papayas are a large, round, broadly pear-shaped fruit. They can be six to twenty inches long, four to eight inches wide, and weigh up to twenty pounds. The skin is thin and yellow or yellowish-green at maturity. The flesh is yellow-orange or red and somewhat firm. The center of the fruit is a large cavity lined with soft, black, pea-sized seeds. Papayas, including wild forms, grow throughout warmer areas of Central and South Florida.