Asimina triloba (Pawpaw)

Partial-full sun, moist, well-drained soils, attractive foliage, beautiful, and delicious fruit

15-25′ Tall

15-20′ Wide

 

 

 

Description

 

Have you ever wanted to grow a tropical fruit but were limited by fickle, temperate climates? Look no further than the pawpaw. It is a remarkable tree in every regard. The pawpaw co-evolved with megafauna as a mechanism for its seed dispersal. Indigenous peoples of the humid, eastern part of this continent were paramount in cultivating this tree once the megafauna died out. In fact, the genus is nearly identical to many Indigenous words for pawpaw.¬† The fruit is creamy, delicate, floral, fragrant, and melting. The flavor has been described as banana-like, but that fails to encompass its entirety. It is not to be transported¬† because of its propensity to turn to soup by the time the jostling is finished. The fruit freezes well, however. The trees are grown in Maine by seed from cold hardy parents living in Michigan, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania. Pollination is carried out by flies and beetles. We’ve heard of growers leaving out fishing bait, roadkill, rancid meat, and other disgusting items to attract pollinators! However, if pollination is a problem, hand-pollination is a viable option if doing a few trees. The more pawpaw you have the fewer problems you will have with pollination.This is an up and coming plant in the Northeast so don’t let tradition keep you resting on your laurels, get them before they’re gone.