Papaya in bloom

Monday, March 2, 2009

papaya flower
Originally uploaded by sassycrafter
My papaya plant is blooming! I'm so excited. It has had flower buds on it for about a month now, and one of them finally popped open on Friday. I noticed the flower just as I was getting ready to leave for the weekend.

I got this 'T.R. Hovey' papaya as a tissue culture plug over a year ago (thanks, Tom!). It sits on my desk right next to a window and gets direct light in the early morning and then indirect light the rest of the day. I water it regularly and fertilize it occasionally.

papaya flower

When I came in this morning, the flower petals had curled backward exposing the unique, antler-like structure that I think is the stigma (see it close up). I don't see any stamens (the male, pollen-bearing structures). My pictures in my Botany Illustrated book makes me think it's a unisexual flower, but then I'm not sure how it could bear fruit. Tom says it's a bisexual flower, which would make sense if it's able to produce fruit on its own.

papaya flower

Secretly, I think Tom envies my papaya. He left his papaya outside and it's looking somewhat sad right now, since the colder winter temps caused his plant to drop a lot of its leaves. Mine not only has flowers, but also plenty of leaves. For once I have out-gardened Tom!

papaya plant in bloom


erin said...

that papaya is hot!
congrats, master gardener. :)

Kim said...

Thanks. I think it's sort of like gambling -- I've killed enough plants now so the odds have come around and it's time for me to have a plant thrive. ;-)

Jen said...

You need to blog about your papaya again - the fruit is HUGE!

Kim said...

I'll definitely blog about it again. I was waiting for it to get a smidge bigger before I posted again.