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Carica papaya - papaya - var-tropical dwarf papaya - desc-fruit.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Brassicales
Family: Caricaceae
Genus: Carica

Carica papaya - Papaya


Carica is a genus of flowering plants in the family Caricaceae including C. papaya, the papaya (syn. C. peltata, C. posoposa), a widely cultivated fruit tree native to the American tropics.

The genus was formerly treated as including about 20-25 species of short-lived evergreen pachycaul shrubs or small trees growing to 5–10 m tall, native to tropical Central and South America, but recent genetic evidence has resulted in all of these species other than C. papaya being reclassified into three other genera.


Species previously in the genus[edit]

Most of the other species have been transferred to the genus Vasconcellea, with a few to the genera Jacaratia and Jarilla, as follows:

  • Carica baccata = Vasconcellea microcarpa subsp. baccata
  • Carica candamarcensis = Vasconcellea cundinamarcensis (Mountain papaya)
  • Carica candicans = Vasconcellea candicans (Mito)
  • Carica caudata = Jarilla heterophylla
  • Carica cauliflora = Vasconcellea cauliflora
  • Carica cestriflora = Vasconcellea cundinamarcensis
  • Carica chilensis = Vasconcellea chilensis
  • Carica crassipetala = Vasconcellea crassipetala
  • Carica cundinamarcensis = Vasconcellea cundinamarcensis
  • Carica dodecaphylla = Jacaratia spinosa
  • Carica glandulosa = Vasconcellea glandulosa
  • Carica goudotiana = Vasconcellea goudotiana
  • Carica heterophylla = Vasconcellea microcarpa subsp. heterophylla
  • Carica horovitziana = Vasconcellea horovitziana
  • Carica longiflora = Vasconcellea longiflora
  • Carica mexicana = Jacaratia mexicana
  • Carica microcarpa = Vasconcellea microcarpa
  • Carica monoica = Vasconcellea monoica
  • Carica nana = Jarilla nana
  • Carica omnilingua = Vasconcellea omnilingua
  • Carica palandensis = Vasconcellea palandensis
  • Carica parviflora = Vasconcellea parviflora
  • Carica pentagona = Vasconcellea ×heilbornii (Babaco)
  • Carica pubescens = Vasconcellea pubescens (Mountain papaya or Chilean Carica)
  • Carica pulchra = Vasconcellea pulchra
  • Carica quercifolia = Vasconcellea quercifolia
  • Carica sphaerocarpa = Vasconcellea sphaerocarpa
  • Carica spinosa = Jacaratia spinosa
  • Carica sprucei = Vasconcellea sprucei
  • Carica stipulata = Vasconcellea stipulata
  • Carica weberbaueri = Vasconcellea weberbaueri



  • Germplasm Resources Information Network: Carica
  • Germplasm Resources Information Network: Carica species list and synonymy
  • Aradhya, M. K. et al. (1999). A phylogenetic analysis of the genus Carica L. (Caricaceae) based on restriction fragment length variation in a cpDNA intergenic spacer region. Genet. Resources Crop Evol. 46: 579–586.
  • Badillo, V. M. (2000). Carica L. vs. Vasconcella St. Hil. (Caricaceae) con la rehabilitacion de este ultimo. Ernstia 10: 74–79.
  • Van Droogenbroeck, B. et al. (2002). AFLP analysis of genetic relationships among papaya and its wild relatives (Caricaceae) from Ecuador. Theoret. Appl. Genet. 105: 289–297.

External links[edit]

  • IUCN Red List entry
  • "Carica" . Encyclopedia Americana. 1920.