Part Two: Species Profles · 117
Caricaceae: The Papaya Family
TreesEdible ruitEdible leaves and fowersSun to part shadeMoist, well-drained soil
spp. • Papaya
Papayas are well known as one o the nest ruitso the tropics. Their mild, sweet melon-like feshsprinkled with lime juice is luscious and nourish-ing. Unripe papayas, o ull size but still rm andgreen, are an excellent vegetable. Green ruits,once they are peeled and deseeded, can be used inmany ways. The most amous is to grate or juli-enne the fesh and add a spicy chili and lime sauceto make green papaya salad, popular throughoutSoutheast Asia. Green papayas can also be boiled,baked, pickled, and used in numerous other ways.The crisp texture is reminiscent o chayote, andvaguely like cucumber or rm summer squash.The ruits o both species proled here can behuge, o ootball size or larger.Papaya trees are short-lived but incrediblyproductive.
can produce as muchas 300 pounds o ruit in a year! Both speciesproled here like ull sun and rich soils. Themain challenges to papaya production are severalviruses, which can injure or kill plants. Theseviruses have made papaya production dicultin many areas o the tropics, including Hawaii.Conventional breeding eorts have ailed todevelop resistant varieties with high-qualityruit. In recent years a genetically engineeredpapaya resistant to mosaic virus has been devel-oped and widely introduced in Hawaii. Whileresistant to the virus, it turns out to be unusu-ally susceptible to the papaya black spot ungus,necessitating massive spraying o chemicals oncommercial papaya elds. Papayas in gardens andmixed planting are less susceptible than those inmonocultures, although the virus continues tobe a problem or growers o all scales in all thepapaya-growing regions o the United States. Aswith any plant virus, inected plants should beremoved and destroyed.
Papaya at ECHO.
PV Part2 pg final.indd 1174/26/07 3:40:39 PM