is by far the most common and widespread species of highland papaya. In eastern Peru it occurs in almost every backyard. In northern Chile it is grown commercially in plantations.
The five-sided yellow fruits have firm flesh and a fragrance both pleasing and penetrating. They are 15–20 cm long, weigh about 130 g, and have a medium papain content. The interior cavity contains many spiky seeds.
Fruits vary greatly in sweetness: some can be eaten fresh, but most must be cooked. They are suitable for stuffing with fruits, vegetables, or other fillings because their firm flesh holds its shape during cooking. They yield a clear juice and are excellent in pies, ice cream, marmalades, or sweets. Canned preserves are marketed in Chile.
The plant is distinguished by the coating of hairs on the underside of the leaves. It grows in areas ranging from dry, windy, open plateaus to humid, shaded forests. It is found at altitudes up to 3,000 m, and withstands −3°C without serious injury. Most plants have flowers of a single sex (dioecious); a few have flowers of both sexes (monoecious).
Chamburo is generally propagated by seeds. It grows vigorously and bears fruit in its second year. It is fairly tolerant of nematodes and is perhaps resistant to papaya ring spot virus, the most devastating disease of the common papaya.
Siglalón. This species (Carica stipulata 7 ) is limited to a small region of southern Ecuador,8 usually at elevations of 1,600–2,500 m. Again, there is much variability among individual plants. In comparison with common papayas, the fruits are quite small, and most are cooked with sugar and eaten as sweets. They are said to be the best highland papayas for jams and sauces. They are also boiled, strained, sweetened, and made into fruit drinks, normally in blends with other juices. Only a few plants yield fruits that can be eaten raw, but some of those are delicious.
The yellow fruit has 10 or 11 ridges, weighs 40–150 g, and possesses a strong, pleasant aroma. The creamy flesh contains many seeds—some smooth, some corky. Many fruits are soft skinned and long; others are firm and squat. They are easier to peel than those of chamburo (C. pubescens), but the immature fruits have perhaps the highest papain content of any papaya and, even in ripe ones, the raw juice tends to irritate the skin, notably the corners of the mouth.
The spiny, occasionally branched, tree is robust and grows vigorously