A close relative of papaya, this exciting plant was domesticated in the Andes at high elevation, where frost is common. Good tasting fruits! A must for tropical fruit lovers living in colder climates.
AVAILABLE IN OCTOBER
A close relative of papaya, this exciting plant was domesticated in the Andes at high elevation, where frost is common. Much like the true papaya, it is a "palm-like tree", 2-10 m tall. Older specimens can branch and loose the palm-like look. As an addition to its edible fruits, Chamburo or Mountain Papaya is a very ornamental species, because of its large, bold leaves.
Vasconcellea pubescens bears good tasting fruits! A must for tropical fruit lovers living in colder climates. They look like small to mid-sized yellow papayas, but flavour is not exactly like a papaya - it is a different fruit with a mere reminiscence of papaya.
Soft seeds and juices from the seed cavity are edible and sweet. Even the skins can be eaten after a few minutes cooking in a very little water, and a bit of sugar.
It grows well in cool conditions and is not harmed by regular frosts, nevertheless, be careful: it dislikes hot temperatures and hard frosts.
It needs full sun, except during the hottest summer days.
It is a fast growing "tree". It is best if planted in the ground or in large pots. Small pots will keep the plant stunted.
It is much more cold hardy than tropical papayas. Since 2005, various labs are working with this Vasconcella. They are trying to induce the genes of cold tolerance in normal modern papayas through genetic transformation.
This plant was formerly in the genus Carica (like Carica papaya) but now it is in a different genus, named Vasconcellea.
We cannot tell the exact size of the plants, because they always change as they grow fast. They are in the range of 20-40 cm tall. Usually they are grown in tall pots of 18x12 cm or 20x14 cm.
|Minimum winter temperature||-5 ºC to 0 ºC|