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A forgotten relative of the common papaya, this creeping or decumbent herbaceous perennial is found in oak and deciduous forests and secondary habitats from Mexico to Central America at elevations between 1500 and 2700 m. It only grows up to 1 m tall from a fleshy, spherical, tuberous root, about 15-20 cm in diameter. The delicate stems are branching from the base and hold undulate or toothed leaves and whitish flowers with occasional touches of purple that are followed by curious, horned, globose fruits, about 2.5 cm in diameter and green to purplish with white streaks. The fruits of Jarilla heterophylla are occasionally found in rural markets in Mexico and highly appreciated for their fragrant, pleasant and aromatic taste with citrus and mustard notes. They are typically made into preserves and sauces accompanying different meats.