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Is Papaya The Largest Variety Of Citrus Fruit? [Truth Explained]

Tropical origin, tangy taste, and big fruit size often confuse people to think of Papaya as the largest variety of citrus fruit.

Generally, Papaya is not a citrus fruit as it lacks the citrus criteria like thick rind, hesperidium, and segmented pulps. Moreover, the world’s largest citrus fruit is Pomelo, followed by Cedro Citron, Corsican Citron, Grapefruit, and many more.

Papaya is a delicious tropical fruit from the Caricaceae family. This sweet, pulpy fruit is native to Central America and Mexico.

So, go through this entire article to learn more facts about Papaya and some true citrus fruits. 

Is Papaya A Citrus Fruit?

Papaya is a tropical fruit with a large, elongated, pear-shaped body. The size ranges from 6-10 inches in diameter, depending on the variety.

Young fruit is hard and crunchy with green-colored skin that releases milky sap upon injury.

Gradually, the fruit color changes into yellow or orange with a soft texture upon ripening and maturity.

Large half cut Papaya with black seeds that look like a citrus fruit
The tangy flavor of Papaya confuses people with citrus fruit.

Moreover, the ripe fruit contains a cavity with a lot of black seeds and soft flesh that tastes sweet and tangy.

However, to be citrus, the fruit must contain leathery thin, and smooth rinds, hesperidium, and citric acid. As these components are lacking, Papaya is not a citrus fruit.

Instead, Papaya contains thick and waxy rinds with a very soft texture, unlike citrus fruits with a juicy and firm texture.

Finally, Papaya is not the largest variety of citrus fruit. 

What Is The World’s Largest Citrus Fruit?

Basically, citrus fruits belong to the family Rutaceae and Citrus genus, which includes several citrus trees and shrubs.

Moreover, the specific tangy taste of this fruit is from citric acid, which is present in all citrus fruits.

As Papaya lacks the criteria to be a true citrus fruit, the saying that it’s the world’s largest citrus fruit is nothing more than a false interpretation.

In fact, the world’s largest citrus fruit is Pomelo, with 4-12 inches in diameter and weighs about 2-10 pounds depending on varieties.

Pomelo has pulpy segments with reddish or pink flesh that have a punch of juicy, sweet, bitter, and tangy taste at once.

Moreover, the rind is yellowish-green on the surface and whitish on the inner layer with a thick and spongy texture. 

Here are the top 10 largest fruits after Pomelo that fulfill all the criteria to be a citrus fruit.

  1. Cedro Citron
  2. Corsicon Citron
  3. Grape Fruit
  4. Pompia
  5. Orangelo
  6. Etrog
  7. Oroblanco
  8. Blood Orange
  9. Lyokan Orange
  10. Buddha’s Hand

From Editorial Team

More About A Papaya!

A papaya tree can give the largest fruit from 250 grams to 10 kilograms depending on the suitable growing conditions and care you provide.

Moreover, the Papaya plant has rapid growth and can reach up to 20 feet tall in an area with warm and humid conditions and enough rainfall.