Q. What is this white mass i found inside my papaya fruit?

It's hard,about the size of an avocado,and white


Without having a picture of the mass you found, it’s not possible to make a positive identification.  It was, however, probably a reproductive part in a place we consumers don’t usually see them.

The papaya plant is dioecious, which means that some trees are male, some are female, and in the papaya’s case, some others are hermaphroditic.  Only the females and the hermaphrodites can bear fruit.  The reproductive process in many plants is subject to unusual events, and if you are a gardener, you know that part of the joy of gardening is discovering what will happen each time you plant a seed.  Unlike the male papaya flowers, the female and hermaphroditic papaya flowers are not particularly showy, but they have an ovule that can grow into a large fruit filled with seeds that are capable of creating new plants.  It is possible that the white growth inside the fruit you cut open was part of its reproductive system.

The papayas we get from the grocery store are almost invariably hermaphroditic, as the female trees produce shorter, rounder fruit that just doesn’t look “right” to consumers.  It’s not easy to tell the sex of a fruit when it is young, however, so sometimes a stray can get through.  The mass you found was probably one of those occurrences.

Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Service

  • Last Updated Apr 02, 2018
  • Views 10446
  • Answered By Anita Finkle

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