The Papaya tree is a tropical fruit that originated in Mexico and South America. It is now grown throughout the North American tropics and other tropical regions around the world.
Although papayas look like trees, they are actually perennial herbs with hollow trunks. These branch-less plants grow to 20 to 30 feet tall with 1-foot-long to 3 1/2-foot-long leaves growing directly from the trunk.
Papayas are relatively fragile plants, with several common diseases, fungi and insects that can injure or kill them. Papayas require careful inspection and care of these conditions.