The papaya most probably originated along the Caribbean coast of Central America. The species was probably widely cultivated by Indians in Mexico and Central America prior to 1492.
In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, it quickly became favored by Spanish and Portuguese explorers.
The Spanish brought the plant from tropical America to the Caribbean, the Pacific Islands and South east Asia in the 16th century.
Papayas are consumed year round in the tropics and subtropics, The numerous seeds, when dried, remain viable for several years and this facilitated their movement from the Caribbean region to Malacca and to India.
The fruit was first describe by the Spaniard Oviedo in 1526. Papaya was quickly disseminated to tropical and some subtropical areas of the world by Spanish and Portuguese sailors.
In twentieth century, papayas were brought to the United States and have been cultivated in Hawaii, the major US producer since the 1920s.
History of papaya