Monday, December 26, 2016

Male Papaya With Fruits!

Papaya trees, for those who have never grown them, come either as a male, a female, or a hermaphrodite (both male and female in the same flower). Male trees produce just flowers that produce pollen, female trees produce fruits (usually quite large in size) but not pollen, and hermaphodites have flowers that produce both and have "normal" sized fruits. 

Normally male papaya trees do not produce fruit. That's pretty simple to understand. But sometimes they do! For real! 

I have this male tree, above, growing along the driveway. It's not in my way and I simply haven't bothered to remove it. It's fine with me if it grows there for a while. But I noticed something odd. It has fruits dangling down at the end of long stems that were once flower stalks. The very last flower on the spray of flowers on that stalk turned out producing a fruit. Amazing. 

Not every flower stalk ends up bearing a fruit, but several have thus far. The fruits have been hanging there for weeks, gradually getting bigger, though none have ripened so far. I'm curious if they will ripen and if they will have seeds inside. 

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