The thing about papaya trees…. There are three kinds. Those with female flowers, those with male flowers, and those with both.
Generally, trees with just male flowers are cut down. They can pollinate female flowers on both female and hermaphrodite trees, but no fruit grows on the male tree.
The fruit only grows on the female and hermaphrodite (or bisexual) trees. Hermaphrodite trees are best if you only have one tree since that way, you don’t have to worry about pollination.
Of our two previous papaya trees, one was male and the other was either female or hermaphrodite. Naturally, we chopped down the male tree.
Since I did not know how to recognize whether the flowers are male or female, I looked it up. I found this site with pictures – I like pictures! – and which gave a description:
A male papaya is distinguished by the smaller flowers borne on long stalks. Female flowers of papaya are pear shaped when unopened, and distinguished from bisexual flowers which are cylindrical.
Which means that my papaya flowers are either male or bisexual. I think. Or maybe I’m just confused.
Last time we had this dilemma, with the two previous papaya trees, we asked our trishaw driver to take a look since he apparently knows. I think it’s time to ask him again… 🙂