Edited by Ho Dinh Hai Long An - Vietnam Updated: 26/4/2015
1- Introduction to the Family Caricaceae - Papaya Family
1.1- Overview TheCaricaceae (Papaya Family) are afamilyofflowering plantsin the orderBrassicales,found primarily intropical regions ofCentralandSouth AmericaandAfrica. They are short-livedevergreenpachycaulshrubs or smalltreesgrowing to 5-10 m tall. One species, Vasconcelleahoroviziana is a liana and three species of the genusJarillaare herbs.Many species bear ediblefruitand are source ofpapain. Based on molecular analyses, this family has been proposed to have originated in Africa in the early Cenozoic era, ~66 million years ago (mya). The dispersal from Africa to Central America occurred ~35 mya, possibly via ocean currents from the Congo delta. From Central America, the family reached South America 19-27 mya. A family of small trees which have few branches or none. The sap is watery to milky. The leaves are palmately lobed or divided. The flowers are regular, mostly unisexual. The fruit is a berry. Plants in the tropical Papaya Family (Caricaceae) are trees, shrubs, and herbs with soft wood, milky sap, erect, usually unbranched stems, a terminal cluster of alternate, usually palmate or palmatifid leaves with long petioles, 5-lobed flowers in the leaf axils, and fruit in the form of large, fleshy berries.
1.2- Genera Caricaceae is a small family of flowering plants, it comprises six genera and about 35 species: 1- Carica - one species,Carica papaya(Papaya), Americas 2- Cylicomorpha - two species, Africa 3- Horovitzia - one species, Mexico 4- Jacaratia - eight species, Americas 5- Jarilla - three species, Americas 6- Vasconcellea - twenty species, Americas
1.3- Morphology Most members of Caricaceae are trees or shrubs (three Jarillaspecies from Mexico and Guatemala are herbs). All species produce latex that can be white or light yellow. Leaves vary from entire to deeply lobed.
2- Genera of the Family Caricaceae
2.1- Genus Carica + Overview: Caricais a genus offlowering plantsin the family CaricaceaeincludingCarica papaya,the papaya (syn. Carica peltata,Carica posoposa), a widely cultivated fruit tree native to theAmerican tropics. The genus was formerly treated as including about 20-25 species of short-livedevergreenpachycaulshrubsor smalltreesgrowing to 5-10 m tall, native totropicalCentralandSouth America, but recent genetic evidence has resulted in all of these species other thanCarica papayabeing reclassified into three othergenera. + Species - Species Carica papaya(Papaya) Thepapaya (fromCaribviaSpanish),papaw orpawpawis thefruitof the plantCarica papaya, and is one of the 22 accepted species in thegenusCaricaof the plant familyCaricaceae. It is native to the tropics of theAmericas, perhaps from southernMexicoand neighbouringCentral America.It was first cultivated in Mexicoseveral centuries before the emergence of theMesoamericanclassical civilizations. The papaya is a large,tree-likeplant, with a singlestemgrowing from 5 to 10 m (16 to 33 ft) tall, with spirally arrangedleaves confined to the top of thetrunk. The lower trunk is conspicuouslyscarredwhere leaves and fruit were borne. The leaves are large, 50-70 cm (20-28 in) indiameter, deeply palmatelylobed, with seven lobes. Unusually for such large plants, the trees aredioecious. The tree is usually unbranched, unless lopped. Theflowersare similar in shape to the flowers of thePlumeria, but are much smaller andwax-like. They appear on theaxilsof the leaves, maturing into large fruit - 15-45 cm (5.9-17.7 in) long and 10-30 cm (3.9-11.8 in) in diameter. The fruit isripewhen it feels soft (as soft as a ripeavocadoor a bit softer) and its skin has attained an amber to orange hue. Carica papayawas the firsttransgenicfruit treeto have itsgenomedeciphered. - Species Previously in the Genus Carica Most of the other species have been transferred to the genusVasconcellea, with a few to the generaJacaratiaandJarilla,as follows: Carica baccata=Vasconcellea microcarpasubsp.Baccata Carica candamarcensis=Vasconcellea cundinamarcensis(Mountain papaya) Carica candicans=Vasconcellea candicans(Mito) Carica caudata=Jarilla heterophylla Carica cauliflora=Vasconcellea cauliflora Carica cestriflora=Vasconcellea cundinamarcensis Carica chilensis=Vasconcellea chilensis Carica crassipetala=Vasconcellea crassipetala Carica cundinamarcensis=Vasconcellea cundinamarcensis Carica dodecaphylla=Jacaratia spinosa Carica glandulosa=Vasconcellea glandulosa Carica goudotiana=Vasconcellea goudotiana Carica heterophylla=Vasconcellea microcarpasubsp.Heterophylla Carica horovitziana=Vasconcellea horovitziana Carica longiflora=Vasconcellea longiflora Carica mexicana=Jacaratia mexicana Carica microcarpa=Vasconcellea microcarpa Carica monoica=Vasconcellea monoica Carica nana=Jarilla nana Carica omnilingua=Vasconcellea omnilingua Carica palandensis=Vasconcellea palandensis Carica parviflora=Vasconcellea parviflora Carica pentagona=Vasconcellea ×heilbornii(Babaco) Carica pubescens=Vasconcellea pubescens(Mountain papayaor Chilean Carica) Carica pulchra=Vasconcellea pulchra Carica quercifolia=Vasconcellea quercifolia Carica sphaerocarpa=Vasconcellea sphaerocarpa Carica spinosa=Jacaratia spinosa Carica sprucei=Vasconcellea sprucei Carica stipulata=Vasconcellea stipulata Carica weberbaueri=Vasconcellea weberbaueri
2.2- Genus Cylicomorpha - two species, Africa + Overview: Cylicomorphais a plant genus consisting of two species that are native to the African tropics. They are the only African representatives of theCaricaceae, and are consequently related to thepapaya. + Habit and appearance: They have the habit of bottle trees,and their soft, dilated trunks are armed with short conical spines. The leaves are digitately lobed.They are strictly dioecious,and like all Caricaceae, produce abundant milky sap when damaged.The inflorescences are axillary. The male panicles hold many flowers, while the female flowers are solitary or borne in small numbers on short racemes. + Range and occurrence: They occur as tall-growing, pioneer plants in moistsubmontanehabitats, where they are local but gregarious. The western species,Cylicomorpha solmsiiis locally threatened by clearance for agriculture and wood, and may be extinct atMount Cameroonand at Barombi, Kumba. + Species: Cylicomorpha parvifloraUrb. Cylicomorpha solmsii(Urb.) Urb.
2.3- Genus Horovitzia - one species, Mexico + Overview Horovitziais a plant genus consisting of only one species that is native to Mexico. + Species Horovitziacnidoscoloides(Lorence & R.Torres) V.M.Badillo This name is unresolved, but some data suggest that it is synonymous with Carica cnidoscoloidesLorence & R.Torres.
2.4- Genus Jacaratia - eight species, Americas + Overview: Jacaratiais agenusof five species of plant native to the Americas, particularly South and Central America. + Species of Genus Jacaratia: Jacaratia chocoensisA.H.Gentry & Forero Jacaratia corumbensisKuntze Jacaratia digitata(Poepp. & Endl.) Solms Jacaratia dolichaula(Donn.Sm.) Woodson Jacaratia heptaphylla(Vell.) A.DC. Jacaratia mexicanaA.DC. Jacaratia spinosa(Aubl.) A.DC.
2.5- Genus Jarilla - three species, Americas + Overview Jarillais a genus in the Family Caricaceaeof Order Brassicales. TheJarillagenus has threeplant speciesnative to the Americas. The common plant name "Jarilla" in South America is a plant related to the genusLarrea. + Species of the Genus Jarilla The Genus has three species: Jarilla chocola Jarilla heterophylla Jarilla nana