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Carica papaya

Image of Carica papaya

Order: Brassicales
Family: Caricaceae
Common name: Pepe, Penpey gachh(Beng.); Papaya, Papaw tree(Eng.).
Life cycle: Perennial
Native Range: Carica papaya is native to the tropics of the Americas.

The papaya is the fruit of the plant Carica papaya , in the genus Carica. It is a large tree-like plant, with a single stem growing from 5 to 10 metres (16 to 33 ft) tall, with spirally arranged leaves confined to the top of the trunk. The lower trunk is conspicuously scarred where leaves and fruit were borne. Their leaves are large, 50–70 centimetres (20–28 in) diameter, deeply palmately lobed with 7 lobes. The tree is usually unbranched if unlopped. The flowers are similar in shape to the flowers of the Plumeria but are much smaller and wax-like. They appear on the axils of the leaves, maturing into the large 15–45 centimetres (5.9–18 in) long, 10–30 centimetres (3.9–12 in) diameter fruit. The fruit is ripe when it feels soft and its skin has attained an amber to orange hue.

Carica papaya is cultivated for its ripe fruits, favored by tropical people, as breakfast fruit, and as an ingredient in jellies, preserves, or cooked in various ways; juice makes a popular beverage; young leaves, shoots, and fruits cooked as a vegetable. Latex used to remove freckles. Their bark used for making rope. Leaves used as a soap substitute, are supposed to remove stains. Flowers eaten in Java. Papain, the proteolytic enzyme, has a wealth of industrial uses. It has milk-clotting (rennet) and protein digesting properties. Active over a wide pH range, papain is useful in medicine, combatting dyspepsia and other digestive orders.