(Vasconcellea cauliflora)

A tree of papaya de montana

Synonyms: Carica bourgeaei, Carica cauliflora, Carica pennata, Carica quinqueloba,

                   Vasconcella boissieri, Vasconcella cauliflora

Other names: bonete, mountain papaya, papaita, tapaculo, zonzapote, 
                          papaye de montagne.

Papaya de montana is a fruit from the Central American Region including Caribbean.  It grows semi-wild in Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Trinidad-Tobago and Venezuela. This plant generally grows in open areas and forest edge.  It is rarely seen in the Canal area.

Fruits of papaya de montana

It is also cultivated on a small scale for its fruits.


Papaya de montana is a small semi-woody tree, 3-6 m high, with a straight unbranched trunk.  The trunk is with scars of at points from where previous leaves have been shed.   The leaves are large and highly lobed. 

Papaya de montana leaves

It is a dioecious plant.  The male plants produce white flowers on long stalks out of the trunk and trunk near the leaves.  The female flowers are shorter on stalks.

Fruits are ovoid, subpentagonal to spherical, apex round or apiculate, up to 7 x 4 cm, and yellow.

Fruiting in papaya de montana


            The fruits are not eaten raw.  However, the pulp of papaya d montana fruits is used by local people for making candy, jams, cakes, and salted preparations.  Sherbets are also made from the pulp.