Papaya, 'Dwarf Red Lady' (Carica papaya)
Though its origin is rather obscure, the original Papaya may represent the fusion of two or more species of Carica native to Mexico and Central America. Today it is cultivated throughout the tropical world and into the warmest parts of the subtropics.
Papaya trees really are the ultimate plant to grow in your edible landscape. They're super fast-growing, quick to produce, and incredibly low maintenance. They have a really unique and beautiful tropical look. Best of all, every part of the Papaya is useful! Grocery store Papaya is often old and near rotten, so fresh from your own yard is always best - and trust us, it's a whole new experience.
Papaya fruit can be eaten fresh in multiple ways, at different levels of ripeness. Eat Papaya like a veggie when it's young and crisp (traditionally sliced thin and used in salads) or when it's more mature, ripe and deliciously juicy. Papaya fruit can be very long and large, providing a tasty treat for several people. Fruit freezes well and can be used fresh or frozen to make smoothies, ice cream, juice, etc.
Papaya trees will start to produce sizable fruit when it reaches around 4 feet tall. The Red Lady Papaya is a dwarf, self-pollinating, and disease resistant Papaya variety that produces fruit that weigh around 3 or 4 pounds when mature. Red Lady Papaya trees can easily be grown in containers or in the ground.