Can You Describe The Papaya Plant And Fruit?


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Steve Theunissen Profile
They are succulent, melon-shaped fruits with certain health benefits. Somewhat like cantaloupes, roundish or pear-shaped, they weigh up to 11 kilograms (24 pounds) each, are 7.5 to 50 centimeters (3 to 20 inches) long, and grow in clusters of 30 or more individual fruits, directly on the trunk of the papaya plant.

This plant looks like a small palm tree, with a crown of leaves but no lateral branches, and attains an average height of three to four meters (10 to 13 feet). Although having the appearance of a tree, it is really a herbaceous plant, with a fleshy rather than a woody stem. Some call it the "giant plant." Its deeply lobed leaves remind you of fig or maple leaves, although those of the papaya sometimes measure 60 centimeters (2 feet) across and are borne on hollow stalks.

Papaya plants develop to their full size within less than a year. Development begins from the black, round, wrinkled, pealike seeds found in the hollow inside. And the plants are ready to bear fruit at any time during the year. Usually the papaya tree is female, always producing an abundant crop of roundish fruits. But there are also male plants with bisexual flowers, which produce cylindrical fruits on long stalks. They may live five or more years.

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