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P. W. Collection.
Plate XXXV Carica Papaya.
PAPAIA (fruit, female tree). The Papaia is a native of South America ; it is found in Florida, and in many parts of tropical America; it was early introduced into Hawaii, grows and bears well in almost any locality. It is a small tree, with a hollow, branchless trunk; it is shortlived, and is suitable only to regions free from frost, and requires perfect drainage. There are two forms, the tall and the dwarf, but there are numerous variations as to shape and quality of the fruit. The soft green leaves, often measuring two feet across, are variously palmated, and have simple, long, hollow stems. The Papaya is usually dioceous; the fruit-bearing tree is called the female; it is claimed that trees of both sexes should be planted near each other, in order to ensure a good yield. The female flowers, which appear from the axils of the leaves, are yellowish-white, single, or two or three together.
The fruit of the Papaya ripens successively. It is either round or oblong, and sometimes weighs eight pounds. The skin is thin, and is bright yellow when ripe. The firm, yellow pulp has a delicious flavor, and the milky juice contains a digestive principle similar to pepsin. The seed cavity is large, and is filled with many small seeds which are enveloped in a loose, mucous coat, with a brittle, pitted testa. When fresh these seeds germinate readily.
G. P. W. Collection.
The size, shape, foliage and general appearance of this tree is the same as that of the preceding variety. Its flowers appear on long stems, are funnel-shape, and have five lobes. The male tree sometimes produces fruit, and it is of large size and fine quality. A good example may be seen in the accompanying illustration.
I know of no method whereby one can, by any selection of seeds, produce with any degree of certainty, plants of either male or female variety.
G. P. II. Collection.
Plate XXXVII Carica quercifolia. This species of dwarf Papaya is of recent introduction to Hawaii. It has a soft, hollow trunk, and low, spreading branches. The leaves are deeply lobed, of a light green color on the upper side, and whitish-green underneath. Flowers dioecious, yellowish-green, having five petals. Fruit the size of a large olive, green, and ribbed with five white stripes, changing to yellow when ripe. The yellow pulp, containing numerous seeds, has a strong pesin flavor that is quite agreeable.