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Susquehanna Pawpaw Asimina triloba 'Susquehanna'

Phonetic Spelling
ah-SIH-min-ah try-LO-buh
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Asimina triloba, commonly called pawpaw, is a small, native, deciduous tree that can grow 20 to 30 feet tall. While it typically appears in a cluster in alluvial, or other moist, nutrient-rich forests and it tolerates shade in the understory, it needs full sun to ensure fruiting. It typically grows best in well-drained, slightly acidic, fertile soil. It is a slow-growing tree that needs several years to bear fruit. The cultivar, 'Susquehanna', is noted for its plump 1 pound fruit with a sweet flesh with few seeds. It also has a thick and is less susceptible to damage than other varieties. This particular variety also makes a good ornamental plant for the landscape.

 

The leaves are alternate, produce a pungent odor when crushed, and display a bright yellow fall color. The bark is smooth with wart-like lenticels. In spring, 6-petaled, purplish-brown flowers mature. The tree produces a 2.5- to 6 inch fruit that matures in late summer to early fall. The fruit resembles a short, fat banana in size and taste and is the largest fruit native to North America. However, to obtain cross pollination, you need more than one genetic strain.

 

Wildlife eagerly seek out the fruits and often beat humans to the harvest.

Diseases, Insect Pests, and Other Plant Problems:

No known disease or insect issues. The pawpaw tree produces self-defensive compounds so that insect pests are usually not a problem.

VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Edibles, Bulbs, and Houseplants" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.   

More information on Asimina triloba.

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Tags:
#fragrant#deciduous#small tree#rain garden#wildlife plants#purple flowers#showy#shade garden#low maintenance#fall interest#beneficial insects#understory tree#sweet fruit#food source#low flammability#dye plant#native fruit tree#colonies#edible fruits#edible garden#Braham Arboretum#larval host plant#food source winter#border back#Coastal FAC#bird friendly#food source soft mast fruit#butterfly friendly#ebh#ebh-fn#pollinators#yellow dye#audubon#shrub borders#woodland garden#zebra swallowtail butterfly#paw paw
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#fragrant#deciduous#small tree#rain garden#wildlife plants#purple flowers#showy#shade garden#low maintenance#fall interest#beneficial insects#understory tree#sweet fruit#food source#low flammability#dye plant#native fruit tree#colonies#edible fruits#edible garden#Braham Arboretum#larval host plant#food source winter#border back#Coastal FAC#bird friendly#food source soft mast fruit#butterfly friendly#ebh#ebh-fn#pollinators#yellow dye#audubon#shrub borders#woodland garden#zebra swallowtail butterfly#paw paw
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Asimina
    Species:
    triloba
    Family:
    Annonaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Early Americans made a yellow dye from the pulp of the ripened fruit.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern Canada to Eastern United States
    Distribution:
    Washington south to New Mexico, Nebraska, Iowa. Parts of Wisconsin, Michigan east to Maine, south to North Carolina and Florida.
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Flowers are pollinated by flies and beetles. Edible flesh fruit eaten by songbirds, wild turkeys, squirrels, raccoons, opossums, black bear, and foxes. This plant supports Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus) larvae.
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Resistant to fire. Moderately resistant to deer damage. Heat tolerant.
    Edibility:
    Very large fruit with few seeds. It is extremely sweet with a rich taste. Ripens mid to late season.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 15 ft. 0 in. - 20 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 15 ft. 0 in. - 20 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Native Plant
    Poisonous
    Shrub
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Pyramidal
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    12-24 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    > 3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    > 3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    Edible, oblong, large yellowish green fruits which mature in early autumn to a dark brown. Full-sun to ensure fruiting.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Cup
    Flower Petals:
    6 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Cup-shaped purple flower (3 green sepals and 6 purple petals in two tiers) appear in spring, but are not showy. Monoecious purplish-brown 6 petal 1-1.5 inch flowers. Foul odor as they are pollinated by flies.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblong
    Obovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    It features alternate, simple, oblong green leaves, 6-12 inches long 2-3 inches wide with a green pepper odor when crushed. Droops from the stem. Looks compound but is actually simple. Underside is pale and glaucous. Showy yellow fall color.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Brown
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Fissured
    Lenticels
    Scaly
    Bark Description:
    Smooth, brown splotched with wart-like lenticels. Becomes fissured and scaly with age.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Bud Scales:
    No scales, covered in hair
    Stem Lenticels:
    Conspicuous
    Stem Description:
    Buds are pubescent with no scales. Young buds and stems are cinnamon brown.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Riparian
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Edible Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rain Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Flowering Tree
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Fire
    Heat
    Insect Pests
    Problems:
    Contact Dermatitis
    Malodorous
    Poisonous to Humans
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Seeds and unripe fruit may cause stomach and intestinal pain. Be sure fruit is ripe before ingesting. Skin irritation from handling fruit.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    unknown
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes
    Poison Part:
    Fruits
    Seeds