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Proceedings of the International Plant Propagator's Society

Vol. 40


Thomas Arthur Spellman

pp: 188-190


Carica pentagona belongs to the same group of plants as the papaya. It has a thick, fleshy trunk. Its leaves and fruit alike are held on stalks from the trunk. The plant itself looks very tropical with its heavy green trunk and palm-like foliage. It grows as a single trunk unless pinched or nipped by a heavy frost. It then becomes multiple, having as many as four or five trunks. Although it seems very tropical, when grown properly, Carica pentagona seldom dies from a winter freeze in Southern California. More than likely problems will be related to heavy soil or excessive moisture in the winter months.

Unlike most tropical papayas, Carica pentagona does not need male and female plants and requires no cross pollination. The small fruits are already set as the flower opens. Ripe fruit can reach a weight of up to six or seven pounds. It can be left on the plant to ripen, or picked when the fruit just begins to turn yellow and ripened indoors. Another attribute is that the

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