Ornamental Gardening

How to Identify Male, Female or Hermaphrodite Papaya Trees

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As is known, papaya trees have three types of trees based on flower types: perfect (hermaphrodite), female, and male.

This classification is based on the sex of the flower that each tree has.


Determination of this sex can only be known after the plant is at least four months old when the plant has flowered, namely by looking at the shape of the flower.

Here are three forms of papaya plant flowers based on gender:

Male Papaya Tree


Male trees are easily recognized because they have many hanging branch panicles with dense male flowers.

This male flower is a slender tube of about 2.5 cm in length. Leaves crown five strands, small—stamens 10, arranged in 2 layers attached to the neck of the tube.

The inner layer of 5 stamens is attached to the corolla. Prospective fruit is anomaly shaped because it will not produce fruit.

This tree is only used as a pollinator for female plants. For this purpose, 1 male tree can be planted among 10-15 female plants.

Female Papaya Tree


Has panicles of short-stemmed flowers with 3-5 flowers that are all female flowers. In fact, one flower often sits in the leaf’s axil.

The flowers are relatively large; the fruit will be round with five pistils at the end.

The presence of this flower pistil gives the shape of a groove or line on the fruit. Although the fruit is round, the grooves or lines of this pistil also appear to give marks.

The flower crown has five petals attached to the base.

These female plants cannot produce fruit without a male or perfect tree.

Pollen from one of these trees is needed to pollinate the pistils of these female flowers.

Seeds from female fruit can not be used as seeds because the nature of the derivative is unknown.

Also, read about how to grow and care for papaya trees.

Perfect Papaya Tree (Hermaphrodite)


It has short-stemmed flowers, generally with a few perfect flowers and 1 – 4 male flowers.

Each perfect flower has a pistil with the ovary and stamens together. This perfect flower is called an androgynous flower.

The shape of the ovary distinguishes this perfect flower and the number of stamens into elongate perfect flower, pentrandria perfect flower, intermedia perfect flower.

Perfect flower elongata has an oval-shaped ovary and ten stamens arranged in a circle on the ovary, five long-stemmed stamens and five short-stemmed stamens. Elongata flowers will produce elongata fruit.

Pentandria’s perfect flower has five stamens which are rather short stems. Will fruit grooved 5 to round.

Perfect flowers (intermedia or carpelloid) have stamens that differ in number between 2 – 10 pieces, and the way of attachment is lower than the pistil.

Therefore the fruit will become shrivelled unevenly. Likewise, the fruit will be wrinkled or long curved with a pointed fruit tip.

The influence of climate on flower shape

The surrounding climate influences the appearance of these three perfect flower forms.

If the climate is flat throughout the year and is suitable for plant growth, the papaya will perfectly produce elongata flowers and fruit.

If the climate is uneven, then the papaya will perfectly produce elongated and intermediate flower and fruit shapes.

If the climate is uneven and changes occur for a long time, the perfect papaya will produce flowers and fruit in the form of elongata, pentandria and intermedia.

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