Difference Between Pawpaw and Papaya (with Table)

Ever entered a shop to see papayas being kept on two racks? The two racks having the same fruit but in different colour and shape. Have you ever wondered if they were different or dismissed the thought thinking all papayas don’t grow in the same shape or size?

The fact is that the fruits in the two racks are indeed different, not only in their size and shape but also in their taste and uses. Not just this, but they grow in different plants and also different medicinal values.

Pawpaw vs Papaya

The main difference between Pawpaw and Papaya is that pawpaw when ripe is green in colour with yellow patches all over it whereas ripe papaya is seen to be orange or reddish colour. When ripe, the flesh of pawpaw is yellow whereas that of papaya is red.

Pawpaw is a spherical and rather large-sized fruit grown on shrubs or bushes, completely different from the plant papaya is grown on. They usually have a rather mild and bland taste like banana.

Papaya, on the other hand, is oval-shaped but smaller in size than pawpaw. It is a tropical fruit and is grown on tropical trees in warm areas. They have a rather refreshing taste, almost a blend between mangoes and cantaloupe.

Comparison Table Between Pawpaw and Papaya

Parameters of Comparison



Shape and size

Spherical and large

Oval and small

Colour of skin

Green with yellow patches

Orange or reddish

Colour of flesh

Yellow flesh

Red flesh


Has a rather bland taste

Has a tropical taste

Used in

Used raw, in fruit salads, for pickles etc.

Used dried, smoothies, fruit salads, desserts etc.

Region for growth

Grown in temperate hilly regions

Grown in warm or tropical climate areas


It is a shrub or a bush with maximum height as 7 m.

It is a tropical tree that grows up to 33 m in height.

Best for

Helps with digestion by breaking down the gluten

Menstruation pain, reducing stress and signs of ageing

What is Pawpaw?

Pawpaw is a fruit grown on shrubs or bushes that reach up to a maximum of 7 m in height. Since they are temperate fruits, they are to be grown in temperate hilly regions for getting the best quality.

They are spherical and large. They are usually seen to be green with yellow patches all over them in their ripe form and have yellow flesh.

Papaws have a mild and bland taste like bananas. This is the reason why they are more often treated as a vegetable and used in pickles, rather than making smoothies and desserts.

Papaws are a useful medicinal plant much like papaya. Since they grow on different plants, they have different properties. Papaws are used as an ailment for digestion problems as they help in breaking down gluten.

What is Papaya?

Papayas are tropical fruit grown on trees of 33 m height. They are usually grown in warm and tropical areas since that is where they grow the best.

They are oval-shaped and smaller in size than papaws. Their skin is usually orange to reddish when ripe and green when raw. This is why many get confused between papaws and papayas.

Papayas have a rich and tropical taste, almost like a crossover between mangoes and cantaloupes. Therefore they are used in delicious treats like smoothies, fruit salads and desserts, or are used after being dried.

Papayas hold great medicinal values as well. They help with the menstrual pain for women and also helps in relieving stress. Taking papayas regularly during their time of the year can be beneficial for an individual’s health and mind.

Main Differences Between Pawpaw and Papaya

  1. The shape and size of the pawpaw and papaya are contrastingly different. When ripe, pawpaw is spherical and comparatively larger than papaya. The papaya is oval-shaped and is smaller in size.
  2. When ripe, pawpaw is green with yellow patches or completely yellow or green. On the other hand, fully ripe papaya is seen to be orange or reddish.
  3. Even the flesh of the two has a different colour which makes it easier to differentiate. Pawpaw has yellow flesh whereas papaya has red flesh. This is the case when they are ripe.
  4. Pawpaw has a rather bland and mild taste like bananas. But papaya on the other hand has a rich and tropical taste, almost like a crossover between mango and cantaloupe.
  5. Since they differ in taste, they are also used in different dishes and different ways. Pawpaw is used raw for their bland taste and used in fruit salads, pickles etc., whereas papayas are used dried for fruit salads, smoothies and desserts.
  6. Pawpaw is usually grown on temperate hilly regions whereas papaya being a tropical fruit is grown in warm and tropical areas.
  7. Papaya is grown on a tree of 33 m height whereas pawpaw is grown on shrubs or bushes that reach a maximum height of 7 m.
  8. Since they are different plants, they also hold different medicinal values. Papayas help with menstrual pain and relieving stress whereas pawpaw helps with digestion problems by breaking down gluten.


Many fruits and vegetables seem to have a similar appearance but then turn out to be completely different once brought and cut at home. Two such are papayas and papaws.

Papaws are grown on shrubs or bushes in temperate hilly regions. They have a rather mild taste and are often used in their raw form for fruit salads, pickles etc. They are usually used to cure digestion problems.

Papayas are grown on tall tropical trees in warm and tropical areas. They have a rich and tropical taste and are used after drying. They are seen in smoothies, fruit salads and desserts. They are helpful with menstrual pains.

Papayas and papaws have a difference in their physical appearance and this can only be seen on close observation. Papaws are spherical and large, green-coloured with yellow patches all over them. Whereas papayas are oval and smaller than papaws. They are orange or reddish when they are ripe.


  1. http://yadda.icm.edu.pl/yadda/element/bwmeta1.element.agro-article-abd5eb01-752a-4d2a-8930-fcf6310ab1d2/c/Seedling_emergence_and.pdf
  2. https://www.cabdirect.org/cabdirect/abstract/19701606658