Wild Pawpaw Tree
Indiana Banana, Hoosier Banana, Poor Man's Banana
Seed and Potted Plants
Easyliving Native Perennial Wildflowers
Native Wild Flower Plants & Seed for Home Landscaping & Prairie Restorations
shade, partial sun
|Height meters||Moisture||Plant Spacing||Lifespan|
|up to 30 feet||average to moist||5 to 15 feet||small tree|
photo by cj
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triloba small potted plants ARE available.
Two or more are needed for fruit production.
$8.00 each plus
email with your zip code and number of plants
for shipping charges on potted plants
Asimina triloba Pawpaw Seeds are available
| Asimina triloba
1 packet - $2.50
1 ounce - $7.50
1 pound - $75.00
Asimina triloba or Pawpaw is the only temperate member of the tropical Annonaceae family and is the largest tree fruit native to the United States where it flourishes in the deep, rich fertile soils of river-bottom lands as understory trees in mesic hardwood forests and attains a height of 5 to 10 m. In sunny locations pawpaw trees typically assume a pyramidal habit, straight trunk and lush, dark green, long, drooping leaves that turn gold and brown in color during the fall. Flowers emerge before leaves in mid spring and require cross pollination for fruit production. Pawpaw seeds are large, brown, bean shaped, laterally compressed seeds that may be up to 1 inch long and should not be eaten.
Pawpaw is an excellent food source rich in most vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and food energy value. Pawpaw fruits are best eaten fresh when fully ripe. This highly aromatic, climacteric fruit has a ripe taste that resembles a creamy mixture of banana, mango, and pineapple and is eaten in-hand as fresh fruit or processed into desserts. The intense tropical flavor and aroma may also be useful for developing processed food products (blended fruit drinks, baby food, ice creams, etc.). The flesh purees easily and freezes nicely. Pawpaws easily substitute in equal part for banana in most recipes. Twigs are a source of annonaceous acetogenins which are being used in the development of anti-cancer drugs and botanical pesticides. Pawpaw plants produce natural compounds (annonaceous acetogenins) in leaf, bark and twig tissues, that possess both highly anti-tumor and pesticidal properties. Family: Annonaceae
The appearance of the Asimina triloba tree gives a tropical flavor to temperate gardens and provides edible landscaping. Pawpaws can serve as a screen or can be grown in a container as a specimen tree. Both trees and shrubs have a conical pyramid-like shape when grown in sun, and a more open structure if grown in shade. They can be planted in the shade of tall, open trees or in partial shade, although they fruit best in sun. If planting in open sun, provide a shading structure to allow filtered sun for the first few years. Pawpaw plants prefer moist, slightly acidic soils and require regular watering, but are adaptable to many conditions. They do not perform well in poorly drained soils and need protection from the wind. At least two Pawpaw trees are needed for cross-pollination to produce fruit.
Native Pawpaw trees are the larval host plant for the Zebra Swallowtail butterfly (Eurytides marcellus) Opossum, raccoon, foxes and squirrels eat the fruits. The twigs and leaves contain extracts that have insecticidal properties. The leaves contain anti-carcinogens.
Wild Pawpaw tree seeds can be planted in the fall to over-winter or can be stratified by exposing to cold moist temperature (32-40 degrees) for 90 to 120 days. Seed should never be allowed to dry out. If planting Pawpaw seeds in containers use deep pots or tubes to allow for healthy roots.
names - False banana, pawpaw apple, custard apple, custard banana, poor man’s
banana, banana tree, Indiana banana, Nebraska banana, Hoosier banana, Michigan
banana, white plum.
Some Native American tribes cultivated the pawpaw for fruit and are responsible
for its widespread range today. The
Cherokee and many other tribes used the pawpaw fruit for food.
The fruit, which is the largest edible fruit native to America, is high
in amino acids. The Iroquois used
the mashed fruit to make small cakes that were dried and stored.
The dried cakes were soaked in water and cooked to make a sauce or relish
that was served with corn bread. Raw
and cooked fruits were dried by the sun or on a fire.
These were stored for use in the future or taken on hunts. The Cherokee used the inner bark to make cordage.
By twisting the bark, they made string and strong ropes.
The twigs and leaves contain extracts that have insecticidal properties.
The leaves contain anti-carcinogens.
Opossum, raccoon, foxes and squirrels eat the fruits. Larvae of the lovely Zebra
Swallowtail butterfly (Eurytides marcellus)
feed exclusively on the leaves.
Custard-apple or Annona family (Annonaceae).
This perennial tree or shrub grows from 3 to 12 m tall. The drooping,
pear-shaped leaves are alternate, from 10 to 30 cm long, with smooth margins and
pointed tips. The leaves are coated
with fine whitish hairs on the upper surface with rusty-colored hairs on the
under-side. Leaves are aromatic,
with a smell reminiscent of bell pepper. Inconspicuous but interesting flowers
(4 to 5cm in diameter) with 3 sepals, are green upon opening and turn to dark
purple or maroon in color. From 1
to 4 flowers grow in the leaf axils before leafing, usually in April or May.
The six velvety petals (2cm-2.5cm long) are stiff and curl slightly
backwards. Yellowish green to
brown, cylindrical, mango-shaped fruits are 7-16 cm long and grow solitarily or
2 to 4 together. The large fruits
(5 to 16 ounces) ripen between August and October.
Fruits have a thin skin, which contain a yellow custard-like pulp that is
said to taste like papaya. Some
varieties contain a whitish-green pulp that is less flavorful.
Fruits contain several flat 2cm long seeds.
The deciduous leaves turn bright yellow before dropping in the fall.
species: A. parivflora, is called
the “dwarf pawpaw” or “possum-simmon.”
A. tetramera, commonly known as
‘opossum pawpaw’, is a rare and endangered species from southern Florida.
Other similar species include A. incarna,
A. longifolia, A. obovata, A. pygmaea, A. reticulata, A. X nashii.
Distribution: This plant grows over much of Eastern North America from Ontario and Michigan south to Florida and Texas.
Pawpaws grow in humid
climates and are highly frost tolerant. They
grow in the shade in open woods usually in wet, fertile bottomlands, but can
grow in upland areas on rich soils. Pawpaws
occur as understory trees in oak-hickory forest in the mid-south where they are
found in clusters or thickets. They
do not do well in coastal environments. The
plants purportedly may do well in the Pacific Northwest and parts of California.
Growth trials are being conducted at Oregon State University.
The appearance of
this tree gives a tropical flavor to temperate gardens and provides edible
landscaping. Pawpaws can serve as a screen or can be grown in a container as a
specimen tree. Both trees and
shrubs have a conical pyramid-like shape when grown in sun, and a more open
structure if grown in shade. They can be planted in the shade of tall, open
trees or in partial shade, although they fruit best in sun. If planting in open sun, provide a shading structure to allow
filtered sun for the first few years. The
plants prefer moist, slightly acidic soils and require regular watering, but are
adaptable to many conditions. They do not perform well in poorly drained soils and need
protection from the wind. At least
two plants are needed for cross-pollination.
Seeds can be sown in the fall to over-winter or can be stratified by
exposing to cold temperature (32-40 degrees) for 90 to 120 days.
Seed should never be allowed to dry out.
If sowing seeds into containers use deep pots or tubes to allow for
Transplanting seedlings: Transplant seedlings in the spring. Larger plants do not transplant well. The roots are widely spreading, so purchase plants that have been grown in deep pots or tubes to insure healthy plants. The roots are brittle, so use care when transferring from containers. Water the transplants frequently during the growing season.
ManagementThis plant spreads quickly by suckers to form a “pawpaw patch.” Remove suckers as they form if a tree form is desired. Sucker formation slows as the tree develops. Other than control of suckers, the plants do not require pruning. The plants are disease and pest resistant and they are not browsed by deer.
The map below shows areas where native Asimina triloba Pawpaw trees grow wild but it can be planted and will grow over a wider area than shown. USDA plant hardiness zones 3 to 9.
the chart below for shipping charges on flower seeds
to order copy and mail the order form
email questions, comments & orders to
email with your zip
code and number of plants
for shipping charges on Pawpaw potted plants
Asimina triloba pawpaw seeds are available
you can order by emailing email@example.com
seeds are available at this time
Use the shipping chart below for seeds only
The minimum seed order amount is $10, this can be a combination of different
subtotal for flower seeds
shipping charge for seeds
|seed orders up to $20.00 =||$4.00 shipping|
|$20.01 - $50.00 =||$6.00 shipping|
|$50.01-$100.00 =||$7.50 shipping|
over $100.00 = 7.5 % of subtotal
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Asimina triloba Pawpaw
plant distribution map
complements of USDA, NRCS. 2001. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.1
(http://plants.usda.gov). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.