Monday, December 19, 2011

Papaya Fruit Shape

 Why do papayas  produce different shaped fruits?  Are these different varieties?  The different shapes are basically due to the fact that there are three different types of trees, not necessarily due to different varietal types.  There are female plants, which produce only female flowers - these contain an ovary for fruit production. There are also male plants which produce male flowers - containing only pollen.  Then there is the ‘hermaphroditic’ plants which contain only hermaphroditic flowers.  That is, flowers that contain both ovary and pollen and can pollinate each other, called self-pollinating. 

The female trees must be pollinated in order for fruit to mature.   This fruit is a medium to large, round-shaped fruit of good eating quality and a large seed cavity. Unpollinated female flowers develop small fruit, which drop to the ground.  Male flowers rarely form fruit.  Hermaphroditic plants consistently produce small to medium, elongated to pear- shaped fruit also of good quality with a smaller seed cavity.