picture taken by me


Papapya flower.  Site of pollination.
Picture Courtesy of Floridata.com
The Carica papaya is and angiosperm so that means it is a flowering plant. Flowers and fruit are what make angiosperms such successful plants. The flowers and fruits attract animals and insects. The insects are attracted to the flowers and aid in pollination. Also, the pollen on the flowers is in great abundance and very light making it easier for it to be picked up by the wind to pollinate other C. papaya plants. The animals are attracted to the great taste of the fruit which aids in seed dispersion. The animals that help with this the most are us! Humans love this tasty fruit and grow many of
                                                                             these plants commercially.

Carica papaya
is sensitive to its environment. It reacts to cold environments in negative ways. It can survive as cool temperatures for a little while, but the quality of the fruit declines. Prolonged exposure to cool temperatures will eventually kill the plant and frost or temperatures below freezing (32ºC) will kill the plant much quicker.

The Carica papaya thrives best in tropical environments. It requires heat all year round to
Papaya leaves.  This is where stomata are located that help regulate gas exchange.
Picture courtesy of Floridata.com
 properly grow. Since this plant is happiest in warmer weather, it has to worry about water loss. The leaves of the plant, like most plants, have a waxy covering that helps protect against water loss through the leaves. It also has tiny openings in the leaves called stomata, which open and close via guard cells to allow for gas exchange into and out of the leaf, while limiting the amount of water loss. To help maximize exposure to the sunlight, the plant grows towards the source of light. This can be seen best if the plant is grown indoors where only one side of the plant is receiving sunlight often making the plant slightly lopsided. Find out how to fix this problem along with a few other when growing a C. papaya on the reproduction page.