Species Guide: Common Fruit Trees


These green papayas will turn orange when ripe. Photo by Goh Shang Ming

Common name: Papaya

Malay name: Betik

Scientific name: Carica papaya L.

Conservation status: Cultivated, Naturalised, Introduced (tropical Americas)


A tree-like herb that grows straight and usually have no branches. Leaves are clustered towards the top of plant. Leaves are lobed, smooth and with toothed margin. Flowers are whitish, have five petals. Fruits are oblong, yellow to greenish-orange in colour.

A papaya tree with its umbrella-shaped crown. Photo by Goh Shang Ming

Habit: Perennial herbaceous plant

Cultivation: It is planted by seeds

Ecological function: The flowers attract pollinators. Its fruit is food for birds. This tree is suitable for tropical agroforestry systems

Pollinator: Bees, moths, wind

Soil: Organic soils

Moisture: Well-drained soils

Shade: No shade

Use: The unripe fruit is made into pickles while the ripe fruits are eaten raw or made into dessert.

By ShangMing

A plant lover. I like small, medium, gigantic, ordinary, exotic, local, foreign plants. Just because they thrive to stand out.