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Pawpaw Trees

Pawpaw trees, scientific name Asimina triloba, are native to North America. These trees give us a special fruit that is creamy and custard-like. Their fruits taste similar to bananas and mangoes. Additionally, they’re related to ylang-ylang, a plant used to make fancy perfumes.


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Pawpaw trees are North America's hidden gem, bearing unique, tropical-flavored fruits. With large, exotic leaves and delectable produce, they're a distinctive addition to any orchard or garden.

Growing pawpaw trees requires a moist, fertile soil with good drainage. They prefer partial shade when young but can adapt to full sunlight as they mature. It's also worth noting that cross-pollination from two different pawpaw varieties often ensures better fruit yield, given that they are not typically self-pollinating.

Beyond their flavorful fruit, pawpaw trees are also celebrated for their low maintenance, resistance to pests, and their role in supporting local wildlife, particularly the zebra swallowtail butterfly.

Pawpaw Trees FAQ

What does pawpaw tree look like?

Pawpaw trees possess a distinctive appearance with large, drooping, oblong leaves that can reach lengths of 12 inches. In the summer, their foliage turns a deep green, and in the fall, it transitions to a vibrant yellow. The tree also bears elongated, green fruits and may grow up to 15-30 feet tall.

Where to plant pawpaw trees?

Pawpaw trees thrive in well-draining, fertile soils. Initially, they benefit from partial shade, resembling their natural understory habitat. However, as they mature, they can adapt to full sunlight. They should be protected from strong winds, and a location near other pawpaw trees can facilitate cross-pollination and better fruit yield.

When is pawpaw season?

Pawpaw season typically falls between late summer and early fall. The exact timing can vary based on the local climate and specific variety, but fruits are generally ready to harvest when they slightly yield to a gentle squeeze and have a fragrant aroma.

Are pawpaw and papaya the same?

No, pawpaw and papaya are distinct fruits. While both have tropical flavors, pawpaw is native to North America and belongs to the Asimina genus. Papaya, on the other hand, originates from Central America and belongs to the Carica genus. Their trees, growth habits, and fruit appearances differ significantly.

When to plant pawpaw trees?

It's best to plant pawpaw trees during their dormant season, which is typically late winter to early spring. This timing allows the young trees to establish their root systems before the active growth period in the warmer months, ensuring a robust start to their life in the garden or orchard.