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Pawpaw Asimina triloba

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 small understory tree or large shrub which typically grows 15-20' tall (sometimes to 40') and occurs in low bottom woods, wooded slopes, ravines and along streams. It often spreads by root suckers to form colonies or thickets. Its bark is smooth with wart like lenticels (pores of outer plant tissue that provide a direct exchange of gases between internal plant tissues and the atmosphere).

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#deciduous#birds#small tree#understory#poisonous#rain garden#wildlife plant#showy#shade tolerant#native shrub#food source#low flammability#NC native#fire resistant#woodland#edible fruits#edible garden#Braham Arboretum
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Allegheny'
  • A. parviflora
    Small-flower, or Dwarf pawpaw
  • 'Davis'
  • 'Mango'
  • 'NC-1'
  • 'Overleese'
  • 'Potomac'
  • 'Shenandoah'
  • 'Sunflower'
  • 'Susquehanna'
  • 'Wabash'
Tags:
#fragrant#deciduous#birds#small tree#understory#poisonous#rain garden#wildlife plant#showy#shade tolerant#native shrub#food source#low flammability#NC native#fire resistant#woodland#edible fruits#edible garden#Braham Arboretum
  • 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. - 35 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
    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