| Share
 

papaya

papaya (pəpĪˈə) [key], soft-stemmed tree ( Carica papaya ) of tropical America resembling a palm with a crown of palmately lobed leaves. It is cultivated for its melonlike yellow fruits eaten raw or cooked and, more recently, for the juice which has become a commercial item. The juice contains the enzyme papain, somewhat similar to pepsin and digestant in action; the enzyme is used in commercial meat tenderizers. The papaya is also called melon tree and pawpaw. In the Caribbean area the fruit is called fruta bomba. Several other Andean species, as well as the genus Jacartia, also have edible fruits. The papaya is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Violales, family Caricaceae.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on papaya from Infoplease:

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Plants


Premium Partner Content
HighBeam Research
Documents Images and Maps Reference
(from Newspapers, Magazines, Journals, Newswires, Transcripts and Books)

Research our extensive archive of more than 80 million articles from 6,500 publications.

Additional search results provided by HighBeam Research, LLC. © Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.

24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring