What’s inside a papaya flower

The partially exposed papaya flower I found below the tree

My Red Lady papaya tree is still losing flowers. On the off-chance that it’s not just a mischievous pest that nibbles on the stems and causes the flowers to drop, I’ve been rotating a variety of fertilizers. However, the flowers still somehow end up on the ground.

Fully exposed, and you see what I think is the ovary of the papaya flower

I found one such fallen flower that had been partially eaten, probably by snails. What was interesting was that the inside was exposed, and there was what looked like a tiny fruit at the base of it.

I stripped away the remaining petals to find this rounded, radish-like thing inside – the flower’s ovary, I guess. What a shame to think that, given time, this would have grown into a big, ripe papaya.

And yes, I believe that it would have grown into a fruit because, based on the cylindrical shape of the flower buds, this is likely a hermaphrodite tree. So, no pollination from other trees would be necessary.

When will we have a complete countdown and have blastoff with these flowers? :(

More on the Red Lady papaya saga…

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What’s inside a papaya flower — 2 Comments

  1. Hello! This is so cool! How did you get such a huge space to plant so many things!
    Anyway, my friend managed to plant caixin and chilli.

    During the first harvest of caixin, we removed just the leaves and leave one leaf and the rest of the stalk behind so that it could continue growing. But in the second harvest the whole plant was removed. Any idea which is better?

    • Hi Wen! Between my dad and myself, I guess we’ve grown quite a variety of plants over the years – many of which we don’t have any more. It’s fun to try growing different plants just for a season or so. Unfortunately, caixin in one of the plants I’m still trying to understand. Somehow I manage to kill my plants before they can mature fully. However, I’ve heard that other gardeners harvest the outer leaves as and when they need them. It probably prolongs the plant’s life span rather than harvesting the entire thing, right? If you don’t want to wait a few more weeks or months for any wisdom I may have gained by then :P, you can check out the Green Culture S’pore forum. Happy gardening!