1.2- Genus Carica - The papaya genus + 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-lived evergreenpachycaulshrubs or small trees growing to 5-10 m tall, native to tropicalCentral and South America, but recent genetic evidence has resulted in all of these species other than Carica papaya being reclassified into three other genera.
2.1- Overview The Species Carica papayaalso called papaya (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 first transgenicfruit tree to have its genome deciphered.