Carica papaya L.

Sub-Family: Not available
English Name: Pappaya
Synonym: Carica citriformis J.Jacq. ex Spreng.
Common Name: Karmmoos, Kappalanga, Omakkay, Pappali, Kappaka
Flowering & Fruiting Period: Throughout the year
Distribution: Native of Tropical America; cultivated in the tropics and subtropics
Habitat: Cultivated in homesteads
Uses: Fruit edible - raw or cooked. Male flowers - cooked and used as a green vegetable. The skin of the unripe fruit, the leaves, sap and seeds of the papaya are all a source of the enzyme papain, a digestive stimulant that facilitates the digestion of protein. Papain can be used internally, especially in the form of the extracted enzyme, to treat digestive disorders. The leaves and the fruit, especially the unripe fruit, are taken internally in the treatment of a range of digestive disorders, diarrhoea, high blood pressure and painful womb. Externally, the leaves are applied to wounds as a dressing that helps to speed the healing process. The seeds are used as a gentle purgative to rid the body of worms.
Key Characteristics: Small herbaceous tree with white milky juice. Leaf blade 30-60 cm long, deeply divided into several lobes. Plants mostly dioecious rarely monoecious with fragrant and nocturnal flowers. Male inflorescence pendulous raceme. Flower in clusters, sessile, creamy yellow. Stamens 10, in two whorls. In female plant 2-4 floral bud arise in the leaf axil, one of which becomes a complete flower; other floral buds fall off. Calyx united 5-lobed, green and fleshy. Fruit large spherical or pyriform, turning yellow or orange with yellow or orange flesh. Seeds black, wrinkled, each enclosed in gelatinous membrane, oval in shape.