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Carica papaya L.
Papaya

Family: Caricaceae

Group: Dicot

Substrate: Terrestrial

Habit: Tree

Perennation: Perennial

Native Range: Peninsular Florida, the West Indies, southern Mexico, Central America and South America; widely cultivated and naturalized.

SOUTH FLORIDA Occurrence: Present

SOUTH FLORIDA Native Status: Native

IRC SOUTH FLORIDA Status: Secure

SOUTH FLORIDA Cultivated Status: Cultivated

Comments: Long considered non-native to Florida, prehistoric papaya seeds were recently discovered at a Calusa site near Fort Myers. For more infomation about papaya and its nativity in Florida, see Dan Ward's 2011 article in The Palmetto: 28-1, provided courtesy of the Florida Native Plant Society.

Carica papaya
Copyright by: George D. Gann

Other data on Carica papaya available from :
Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants
Carica papaya has been found in the following 106 conservation areas :
Occurrence Native Status
Alice C. Wainwright Park Present Native
Bahia Honda State Park Present Native
Bartlett Estate Present Native
Big and Little George Hammocks Present Native
Big Cypress National Preserve Present Native
Big Torch Hammocks, Florida Keys Wildlife and Environmental Area Present Native
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park Present Native
Bill Sadowski Park Present Native
Biscayne National Park Present Native
Black Point Park and Marina Present Native
Blowing Rocks Preserve Present Native
Blue Heron Hammock, Florida Keys Wildlife and Environmental Area Present Native
Bocilla Preserve Present Native
Camp Owaissa Bauer Present Native
Cape Romano - Ten Thousand Islands Aquatic Preserve Present Native
Castellow Hammock parcel 28 Present Native
Castellow Hammock parcel 31 Present Native
Castellow Hammock parcel 33 Present Native
Castellow Hammock Park Present Native
Cayo Costa State Park Present Native
Chapman Field Park Present Native
Collier-Seminole State Park Present Native
Crandon Park Present Native
Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge Present Native
Curry Hammock State Park Present Native
Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammocks Botanical State Park Present Native
Deering Estate at Cutler Present Native
Don Pedro Island State Park Present Native
Dove Creek Hammocks, Florida Keys Wildlife and Environmental Area Present Native
Dry Tortugas National Park Present Native
Dupuis Reserve Present Native
Enchanted Forest Park Present Native
Everglades and Francis S. Taylor Wildlife Management Area Present Native
Everglades National Park Present Native
Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park Present Native
Fern Forest Nature Center Present Native
Frenchman's Forest Natural Area Present Native
Frog Pond/L-31 N Transition Lands Present Native
Fuchs Hammock Preserve Present Native
Gasparilla Island State Park Present Native
George N. Avery Pineland Present Native
Greynolds Park Present Native
Harden Hammock Present Native
Hattie Bauer Hammock Present Native
Hillsboro Pineland Natural Area Present Native
Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge Present Native
Hugh Taylor Birch State Park Present Native
Ingram Pineland Present Native
J.N. 'Ding' Darling National Wildlife Refuge Present Native
J.W. Corbett Wildlife Management Area Present Native
John D. MacArthur Beach State Park Present Native
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park Present Native
John U. Lloyd Beach State Park Present Native
Jonathan Dickinson State Park Present Native
Juno Dunes Natural Area Present Native
Kendall Indian Hammocks Park Present Native
Kendalwood Present Native
Key West National Wildlife Refuge Present Native
Lignumvitae Key Botanical State Park Possibly Extirpated Possibly Extirpated
Lignumvitae Key Botanical State Park, Klopp Tract Present Native
Little Hamaca Park Present Native
Little Torch Hammocks, Florida Keys Wildlife and Environmental Area Present Native
Long Key Natural Area & Nature Center Present Native
Long Key State Park Present Native
Loveland Hammock Present Native
Loxahatchee Slough Natural Area Present Native
Lucille Hammock Present Native
Matanzas Pass Preserve Present Native
Matheson Hammock Park Present Native
Meissner Hammock Present Native
Milton E. Thompson Park Present Native
Mound Key Archaeological State Park Present Native
National Key Deer Refuge Present Native
Navy Wells Pineland Present Native
Navy Wells Pineland #23 Present Native
Ocean Ridge Hammock Park Present Native
Okaloacoochee Slough State Forest, Okaloacoochee Slough Wildlife Management Area Present Native
Okaloacoochee Slough Wildlife Management Area - FWC, Okaloacoochee Slough Wildlife Management Area Present Native
Palm Drive Pineland Present Native
Pine Island Ridge Natural Area Present Native
Porter-Russell Pineland Present Native
Quail Roost Pineland Present Native
R. Hardy Matheson Preserve Present Native
Ramrod Hammocks, Florida Keys Wildlife and Environmental Area Present Native
Red Reef Park Present Native
Rock Pit #34 Present Native
Rocky Point Hammock Assumed to be Present Native
Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve Present Native
Secret Woods Buffer and Nature Center Present Native
Silver Palm Groves Present Native
Simpson Park Present Native
Spanish River Park Present Native
St. Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park Present Native
Sugarloaf Hammocks, Florida Keys Wildlife and Environmental Area Present Native
Sunny Palms Pineland Present Native
Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge Present Native
The Barnacle State Historic Park Present Native
Trail Glades Range Present Native
Tree Tops Park Present Native
Twin Rivers Present Native
Virginia Key and Marine Stadium Present Native
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Present Native
Wahoo Hammocks, Florida Keys Wildlife and Environmental Area Present Native
West Biscayne Pineland Present Native
Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park Assumed to be Present Native
Woodmont Natural Area Present Native


Carica papaya has been found in the following 10 counties :
Occurrence Native Status
Broward County Native
Collier County Native
Glades County Native
Hendry County Native
Lee County Native
Martin County Native
Miami-Dade County Native
Monroe County (Keys) Native
Monroe County (Mainland) Native
Palm Beach County Native


Carica papaya has been found in the following 9 habitats :
Coastal Berm
Coastal Strand
Disturbed Upland
Maritime Hammock
Mesic Hammock
Pine Rockland
Prairie Hammock
Rockland Hammock
Shell Mound


All Images:

Carica papaya
Copyright by: George D. Gann
Carica papaya
Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer
Male plant

Carica papaya
Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer
Female plant
Carica papaya
Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Carica papaya
Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley