12 Papaya Varieties (Known Papaya Varieties In The World)

Papaya, close up shot.

The fruit from the Papaya tree is known as papaya, papaw, or pawpaw. It is native to southern Mexico and nearby Central America, with naturalizations in the:

  1. Hawaii
  2. Caribbean Islands
  3. Malaysia
  4. India
  5. Australia
  6. Indonesia
  7. Thailand
  8. The Philippines

The fruit itself has many stories associated in both local and folk tales. The “fruit of the angels,” according to one legend, was named papaya by Christopher Columbus. However, papaya has been used as a traditional cure for abortion and contraception by Indian, Sri Lankan, and Pakistani women long before Columbus supposedly named it just that. In addition, modern research has proved that consuming significant quantities of unripe papaya acts as a contraceptive and can cause abortion.

Papaya is the fourth most extensively produced tropical fruit globally, with Mexico, Nigeria, Brazil, India, and Indonesia being the top producers.

A Brief History

We may thank Caribbean locals for giving the tropical fruit a delightful name – even if the islands aren’t the papaya’s natural region.

The tropical plant originated in Central America and was brought to the Caribbean by sailors from Europe who discovered it in the Americas and opted to bring it back on their wooden boats as a pleasant snack.

The papaya may be the most sun-worshipping fruit – thanks, in part, to the plant’s extreme sensitivity to frost – though it’s now grown in places as warm as Southeast Asia, Texas, Southern California, and Florida.

The papaya, aside from being picky, is also quite unusual.

The fruit is available in three genders: male, hermaphrodite, and female. The males produce pollen, but the females produce no fruit. Females can produce little fruit, although these are inedible for the most part.

The third sort of papaya is what makes the fruit stand cut the majority of the time.

Papayas are also tri-colored. Their colors, red, green, and yellow, resemble traffic lights. However, the fruit has multiplied within those broad categories, giving more than 20 various types of papayas.

Each papaya cultivar has a distinct flavor and features, with the following being among the most popular:

Sunset Papaya

Sunrise papayas are farmed on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, and they can reach up to 26 oz. It has beautiful reddish-orange skin, and it has  sweetmeat.  Inside, there is a shallow seed hole, making it a lot easier to remove the seedlings than another papaya.

These papayas sometimes called Strawberry papayas. They have skin that develops spots as it begins to ripen and the richest flesh amongst all papayas. It is available throughout the also year and is high in vitamins E, K, C, and beta-carotene. It has a flavor that is comparable to berries, peaches, and melons. It’s also a highly adaptable fruit; its juice is used to marinate meats, and the fruit can also be diced for salads.

Sunset papayas have red-orange skin and flesh and are medium to small in size. They belong to a small variety that produces large amounts of fruits. This fruit was created in the University of Hawaii, and it is considerably smaller than Sunrise papayas. Plus, their skin is also darker. Sunset papayas also have a more uniform color and have an improved shelf life.

Yellow Papaya

Yellow papaya, close up.

Mexican papayas are usually huge, and several of them can weigh up to 10 lbs. The red papayas have pink flesh and a sweet flavor, yet they are still not as sweet as papayas harvested in Hawaii. Yellow papayas contain yellow flesh slightly sweeter than red papayas from Mexico, but they are less sweeter than papayas farmed in Hawaii.

They are accessible all year and can grow to be up to 15 pounds in weight, while the average size for the Mexican papaya is normally one or two pounds and six to twelve inches in length.

They are high in vitamins C and A, fiber, potassium, calcium, among other minerals. They are among the fastest-growing tropical plant varieties consumed today, and they can even help with digestion due to the enzyme papain.

Papaya Hawaiian Sunrise

This variety has a flavor palette that is a blend of peaches, melons, and berries, and is one of the most popular papaya varieties out today, thanks in no small part to its distinctively exquisite taste.

A shallow seed hole makes extracting the several black balls easy. The fruit is painted in every colors that the name may suggest. It has gorgeous green skin, and its pulp is a combination of orange and pink.

Gold Papaya Hortus

This cultivar hails from sunny South Africa and is another banana-yellow variation.

The cultivar is similarly sweet and shares the same skin and flesh color as its Guinea Gold cousin. It is, however, significantly larger – up to 4 pounds – and one of the largest papaya varieties available.

Papaya Kamiya

This variety was developed in a laboratory at the University of Hawaii, and for a good cause!

The school developed this plant to be increasingly disease-resistant since a certain plant virus was endangering the sustainability of papayas worldwide. With soft and orange flesh, and a beautiful, citrusy-sweet aroma, it’s also delicious.

Papaya Kapoho

This is the kind to choose if you want to taste papaya like a Hawaiian.

The Kapoho Papaya is the most popular papaya variety farmed in Hawaii, accounting for over 90% of the market. But it’s easy to see why, with sweet, yellow flesh and a colorful yellow-and-green speckled exterior.

Sunnybank Papayas

Sunnybank papayas are produced in Western Australia and have yellow flesh. They are petite, usually only reaching 1 pound.

Papaya Waimanalo

These papayas weigh between 16 to 39 ounces and have sweet, orangish-yellow flesh when fully ripe.

Papaya Bettina

In Queensland, Australia, the Bettina variety is primarily grown. The fruits of this easy-to-grow papaya are spherical and weigh between 3 and 5 pounds each. It has pleasant flesh with a little number of seeds.

Guinea Gold Papayas

Guinea gold papayas are native to Western Australia. These are pear-shaped fruits that have golden yellow flesh and peel. The fruit grows to be 2 to 3 pounds and can take 15 to 18 months to mature.

Hortus Gold Papaya

Hortus gold papaya is a South African variety. It has a lovely bright yellow exterior and produces large, heavy fruits with yellow meat weighing up to 3-4 pounds each.

Papaya Samba

This papaya cultivar is the newest addition to the papaya world, and it features a beautiful skin design that is normally yellow with green specks.

With a flesh that’s more pulpy than juicy and a taste that’s more acidic than sweet, the inner color scheme is completed by a dark orange.

Facts to Know About Papayas

What’s in a Name, Anyway?

The fruit is also called a tree melon and Paw Paw or Papaw in Australia, in addition to “papaya.”

There are two main types available.

The majority of papaya sold in stores comes from Hawaii or Mexico; nevertheless, the fruit is now cultivated practically everywhere on the planet. Each region has its unique types and flavors. Hawaii is now the only place in the United States where papayas are grown for commercial purposes.

Some Weird Purposes

Papayas have been used as contraceptives and to induce abortion in various world regions, with the latter being more successful if consumed in large quantities. However, this only works if you use unripe papaya.

Aid for a Few of the World’s Illnesses

People in other regions of the world consume papaya-infused tea to prevent infections like malaria.

A Fruit with a Wide Range of Uses

The papaya fruit can be used for a variety of purposes in addition to eating. The tree’s bark may be used to construct a strong rope, the seeds can be ground and used in place of pepper, and it can be ingested as juice, various sauces, and even as a tenderizing tool.

Papaya’s Numerous Health Advantages

Not only is the papaya fruit high in vitamins and nutrients, but it has also been used to improve digestion, as an injection to treat herniated discs, and as a topically applied treatment for burns, wounds, and even rashes.

How to Choose the Best Papaya

When buying papayas, look for ones that are mostly or entirely yellow and yield slightly when pressed. It will never ripen correctly if it is green or hard when you buy it since it is unripe papaya taken from the tree at the incorrect time.

Vitamin C in abundance

One tiny papaya contains more than 300 percent of the daily recommended intake (RDA) of Vitamin C. Papayas also contain Vitamin B, potassium, fiber, and magnesium, as well as a significant amount of antioxidants. It is also low in calories, with less than 4 ounces of papaya containing only 100 calories.


So there you have it!

An extensive list of the different types of papayas. Now that you know about the different varieties, you can be selective with your purchase decisions. They can be used for varying purposes, so knowing what you want papaya for is a more crucial decision.

Good luck!

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