pronounced: kair-ick-AY-see-eye

the papaya family

Caricaceae comes from the Latin carica, a kind of dry fig, and used because of the similarity of papaya leaves to fig leaves. This is a small family of flowering plants, whose best-known member is the pawpaw, widely grown throughout the tropics not only for its fruits, but because it contains the enzyme papain, which is used extensiively in medicines, as a meat tenderizer, for softening textiles, silk and leather, and in making beer.


Photograph © Donald Simpson 2013