Carica papaya Linnaeus. Papaya. Phen: Jan-Dec. Hab: Coastal hammocks, shell middens, disturbed areas, much cultivated but also apparently native. Dist: S. FL (controversial as to nativity); West Indies; Mexico, Central America, and South America. The issue of the native status of papaya in Florida has been controversial and is discussed at length in Ward (2011c). It is definitely documented as having been present since at least 350 A.D., and is considered to have been likely brought to the mainland from the West Indies by aboriginal populations.
Origin/Endemic status: Native
Syn: = Bah, Fl4, FNA7, K3, K4, Mex, S, WH3