Pawpaw Fact Sheet
Family: Annonaceae - Custard-apple family
Latin name: Asimina triloba
Common name: Common Pawpaw
Plant Fact Sheet/Guide Coordination Page
National Plant Data Center
Karren Wcisel © copyright
- The Common Pawpaw often grows in patches, but may also be found as individual trees.
- Some Native American tribes cultivated the pawpaw for fruit and are responsible for its widespread range today. The Cherokee and many other tribes used the pawpaw fruit for food. The fruit, which is the largest edible fruit native to America, is high in amino acids. 
- Inconspicuous but interesting flowers (4 to 5cm in diameter) with 3 sepals, are green upon opening and turn to dark purple or maroon in color.
- From 1 to 4 flowers grow in the leaf axils before leafing, usually in April or May. The six velvety petals (2cm-2.5cm long) are stiff and curl slightly backwards. 
- Photos above shows the progression of the winter floral buds of the Asimina triloba.
- Leaves are quite large. They are dark green in the summer and can give a brilliant display of yellow in the fall.
- Pawpaw are capable of producing more than one fruit per flower, but in the summer of 2004 there was almost no fruit on the trees that I observed.
- Yellowish green to brown, cylindrical, mango-shaped fruits are 7-16 cm long and grow solitarily or 2 to 4 together. The large fruits (5 to 16 ounces) ripen between August and October.
- Fruits have a thin skin, which contain a yellow custard-like pulp that is said to taste like papaya. Some varieties contain a whitish-green pulp that is less flavorful. Fruits contain several flat 2cm long seeds. 
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Please ask for permission before using my photographs. Larger sizes and additional photographs
of the tree are often available.
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