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Flowers, Fruits, and Frass

Local and statewide information on a variety of current topics for home gardeners and market growers.
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Papaya


Woodford County Master Gardener, Mary Niemi, brought in a plant specimen to ask her fellow Master Gardeners "What is this Plant?" A few names were tossed around but no difinative answer was reached. So, I decided to send pictures to the experts. The submission lingered and the experts were stumped. Mary then sent me a picture of the mystery plant flowering. I resubmitted the flower picture for identification. After prodding Stephanie, Dr. Stephen Hill, a plant systematics specialist from the Illinois History survey finally answered the question Mary had asked a few months before.

..........................and the diagnosis was Carica papaya

Yes, Mary has a female papaya tree growing amongst her hostas. She came to the conclusion that it must of gotten there from the compost bin. This tree is not hardy. It will not produce fruit either because it needs to be pollinated by a male papaya. The flowers will abort soon. Suggestions from Dr. Hill were to make it a greenhouse plant.


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