Pawpaw
Asimina triloba (L.) Dunal

Pawpaw: Full Size

Mature Size: Up to 40 feet in height and 1 foot in diameter.

Form: Small tree or shrub, often forming thickets.

Habitat: Understory of hardwood forests, especially in moist floodplains.

Leaves

Pawpaw: Leaves

Alternate, simple, 5 to 11 inches long, somewhat pear-shaped; when crushed, gives an unpleasant smell like fresh asphalt.

Flowers

Pawpaw: Flower

Purplish-brown, broadly bell shaped, 1 to 1½ inch across, with 6 petals, appearing with or slightly before the leaves.

Fruit

Pawpaw: Fruit

Fleshy, edible, 2½ to 4 inches long, resembling a short, fat banana; at first green, turning yellowish then brown as they ripen in the fall.

Bark

Pawpaw: Bark

Smooth, brown, splotched with wart-like pores, often with light gray patches.

Twigs

Moderately thick, red-brown; buds purplish brown, fuzzy, flattened and often curved, end bud ¼ to ½ inch long.

Values and Uses

Pawpaw fruits are eaten by raccoons, opossums, squirrels and birds.

Did You Know?

Pawpaw leaves are the only food source for caterpillars of the beautiful zebra swallowtail butterfly.