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Asimina triloba

Common Name(s):

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

Asimina triloba, commonly called pawpaw, is a deciduous tree that may grow 20 to 30 feet tall. The leaves are alternate and produce pungent odor when crushed. The bark is smooth with wart-like lenticels. In spring, 6-petaled, purplish-brown flowers mature. The small tree produces a 2.5- to 4-inch fruit that matures in late summer to early fall. The fruit resembles a short, fat banana in size and taste.

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

Fire Risk: This plant has a low flammability rating.

Seasons of Interest: 

  Leaves:  Fall                  Blooms:   Early spring, spring             Nut/Fruit/Seed:  Late summer, fall

 

Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Allegheny'
  • A. parviflora
    Small-flower, or Dwarf pawpaw
  • 'Davis'
  • 'Mango'
  • 'NC-1'
  • 'Overleese'
  • 'Potomac'
  • 'Shenandoah'
  • 'Sunflower'
  • 'Susquehanna'
  • 'Wabash'
Tags:
#fragrant#fruit#deciduous#birds#small tree#understory#poisonous#rain garden#wildlife plant#showy#native tree#shade tolerant#native shrub#host plant#host#food source#low flammability#NC native#fire resistant#woodland#edible fruits#edible garden#Braham Arboretum#food source summer#food source fall
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Allegheny'
  • A. parviflora
    Small-flower, or Dwarf pawpaw
  • 'Davis'
  • 'Mango'
  • 'NC-1'
  • 'Overleese'
  • 'Potomac'
  • 'Shenandoah'
  • 'Sunflower'
  • 'Susquehanna'
  • 'Wabash'
Tags:
#fragrant#fruit#deciduous#birds#small tree#understory#poisonous#rain garden#wildlife plant#showy#native tree#shade tolerant#native shrub#host plant#host#food source#low flammability#NC native#fire resistant#woodland#edible fruits#edible garden#Braham Arboretum#food source summer#food source fall
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Asimina
    Species:
    triloba
    Family:
    Annonaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Early Americans made yellow dye from pulp of the ripened fruit.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Canada and U.S.A., NC
    Distribution:
    WA south to NM, NE, IA. Parts of WI, MI east to ME, south to FL
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Edible flesh fruit becomes soft and custard-like sweet taste similar to bananas. Fruits eaten by sondgbirds, wild turkeys, squirrels, raccoons, opossums, black bear, and foxes.
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Resistant to fire and moderately resistant to damage from deer.
    Edibility:
    Raw berries in small quantity. Stomach/skin irritation in some.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 15 ft. 0 in. - 30 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 15 ft. 0 in. - 30 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Native Plant
    Poisonous
    Shrub
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    > 3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    > 3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    Edible flesh fruit becomes soft and custard-like sweet taste similar to bananas, very nutritious.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Petals:
    6 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Monoecious purplish-brown 6 petal 1-1.5 inch flowers.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblong
    Obovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Alternate, simple, obovate to oblong 5-11 inches long 2-3 inches wide with a green pepper odor when crushed.
  • Bark:
    Bark Description:
    Smooth, brown splotched with wart-like lenticels.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Lenticels:
    Conspicuous
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Riparian
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Rain Garden
    Design Feature:
    Flowering Tree
    Attracts:
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Fire
    Problems:
    Contact Dermatitis
    Poisonous to Humans
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Stomach and intestinal pain. Skin irritation from handling fruit
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Unknown
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes
    Poison Part:
    Fruits
    Leaves