- Weight: 1 lb
- Zone: 9
- Bloom Season: Spring
- Bloom Color: Purple/Lavender
- Usage: Flowering
- Ships: November Through April
- Height At Maturity: Under 20 Feet
- Exposure: Full Sun
- Categories: Trees
Fruiting Paw Paw thrive in various growing zones and soil conditions
The Asimina triloba, or familiar Paw Paw, known for its hardiness, its ability to thrive in various growing zones and soil conditions, its mature height of 25 to 35 feet, and its relatively narrow width, is a species of fruit tree native to nearly the entire eastern half of the United States and southernmost Ontario. This tropical-looking tree grows in full sun and develops drooping foliage. More shading is necessary for the first couple of growing seasons. The Paw Paw forms patches that grow in land that drains well and is deep and rich, and it produces one of the enormous edible fruits common to the United States. Although it is not the same as papaya, it is often confused with papaya. Thus, similar names are attributed to these two different fruits. There are also numerous spelling variations and other names, such as wild banana, prairie banana, or banango.
Fruiting Paw Paw thrive in acidic soil
A small tree usually exceeds 35 feet, with a trunk 8-12 inches in diameter. Pawpaws can produce fruit in a shaded environment but yield at a higher rate in an exposure. Their growth rate is relatively rapid if all conditions are favorable, and they thrive in acidic soil teaming with organic material. From a seedling, fruit-bearing typically begins in the fifth or sixth year, but grafted pawpaws will bloom by the second year and bear fruit by the third. The leaves are smooth, dark green above, and paler beneath. If they are bruised, the leaves smell like green bell pepper. In autumn, they turn a rusty yellow, allowing the paw to be spotted from a long distance. A Paw paw’s flowers are reddish-purple or maroon when they mature in early spring.
Delicious and full of nutrition, the fruit resembles a short, stout banana. Tropically flavored with a texture similar to custard, they have been compared to a banana cream pie. With twice as much Vitamin C as many other popular fruits and high energy, minerals, protein, and fiber, the health benefits are quite numerous. It is also has a good balance of amino acids and is high in antioxidants. A variety of common mammals enjoy the tasty fruit. The foliage of the tree is not usually eaten because of its less than desirable odor. A few insects love the pawpaw flowers, including scavenging fruit flies, carrion flies, and beetles. Larvae of the zebra swallowtail butterfly feed on the new leaves, but chemicals in the pawpaw leaves protect the butterfly. Small amounts of these chemicals remain on the leaves, making them unpleasant and non-desirable to common foliage predators.