Pawpaw (Asimina triloba)

Pawpaw (Asimina triloba)

Exposure

Full sun. Tolerates light shade, but expect a reduction in fruit yield. Zones 5-8.

Soil

Moist, well-drained, deep soil along creeks is preferred, but pawpaw will tolerate a wide range of upland soils. We recommend additional lime if your soil is highly acidic.

Growth Habits

This wonderful native tree is a temperate escapee from the otherwise tropical custard apple family and produces the largest native North American fruit. Pawpaw is a disease and insect resistant multi-stemmed large shrub or small tree to 30 feet tall and 15 feet wide that often forms colonies from underground suckers. The May blooming flowers produce greenish-yellow late summer fruit 2-6 inches long. Pawpaw's medium-large, drooping leaves give the tree a sultry tropical look during the growing season with yellow fall foliage color. It is difficult to transplant pawpaws so get its location right the first time.

Must be cross pollinated with a seedling or another variety and it is often helpful to pretend to be an insect and hand pollinate for highest yields.

Landscape Uses

Pawpaw is an excellent streamside or creekside tree whose roots are excellent soil stabilizers. In the home landscape, pawpaw makes an excellent small orchard, hedge, or border large shrub or small tree, depending on pruning method.

Usefulness

Pawpaws, also called the Michigan banana, are a hand-sized fruit with pulpy to creamy yellow to ivory colored flesh that many consider to be one of the world’s most delicious fruits. The flavor has been described as a cross between a mango and a banana. The fruit is highly nutritious and contains many health-promoting compounds. The branches and buds of the pawpaw tree contain powerful anti-inflammatory and cancer fighting compounds.

Available Varieties

Overleese - A very large, oval fruit with delicious, creamy, yellow-orange flesh, Overleese was selected by Pawpaw researcher Corwin Davis from a wild stand in Michigan.

Shenandoah - This patented variety is one of the largest and most flavorful Pawpaws. Weighing up to 1 lb., Shenandoah™ fruit ripens in mid season and is sweet and flavorful with creamy-yellow, custard-like flesh.

Sunflower - One of our most popular and reliable varieties, Sunflower bears good crops of very large, sweet and delicious fruit. Sunflower won First Prize at the 2010 Ohio Pawpaw Festival and has been a robust tree in Debbie’s orchard.

Pricing Information

Grafted trees: $39.00 / 3 gallon, $45.00 / 5 gallon

Selected seedlings: $20.00 / 1 gal., $30.00 / 3 gal.