Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Papaw (Cariea Papaya), a tropical South American tree, the type of a small calycifloral order (Papayaceae). It seldom exceeds twenty feet in height or a foot in diameter, and is often hollow. It bears scattered leaves on horizontal stalks often two feet long, and themselves sometimes two feet across and deeply seven-lobed. The flowers are dicecious and pentamerous, and the gourd-like fruit is about ten inches long, melon-shaped or oblong, and of an orange colour. It is edible, but when ripe is seldom eaten raw. The whole plant contains an acrid milky juice, and possesses the interesting property of rendering meat tender. It contains an essential principle, papayin, analogous to the animal ferment trypsine, and is successfully employed in dyspepsia, diphtheria, etc.