SCIENTIFIC NAME: "Carica papaya L". Papaya is a short-lived perennial growing to 30 ft (9.14 m) high. Its hollow, herbaceous stem is usually unbranched. The deeply lobed, palmate leaves are borne on long, hollow petioles emerging from the stem apex. Flowers occur in leaf axils.Papaya grows well on many types of soil, but they must be adequately drained. Restricted soil drainage promotes root diseases. Papayas, which are high in vitamins A and C and calcium, are often used fresh in fruit salads and desserts.