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Paw Paw Tree

Paw Paw, Asimina triloba, is a legendary fruit tree native to Eastern United States. It has permeated Appalachian folklore for generations and is one of the most well known wild foods in the region. Every year there are festivals to celebrate this magical plant. According to Samuel Thayer in “Incredible Wild Edibles”, there are over 8 species of paw paw native to North America, although the most common one is A. triloba. Paw paw flowers rely on flies for pollination so their flowers are reported to have an interesting smell. They are also the largest edible fruit on any tree in North America with fruits as large as 280 grams.


At Plant Path we sell improved varieties known for consistent yields and abundant harvests. Wild paw paw grow typically in the forest understory, forming clonal colonies. Often growing in temperate hardwood forests near streams and riverbanks, they are water loving and produce fruits which drop to the forest floor when ready. Paw paw also produce and grow well in full sun away from water! They are versatile and low maintenance, easy to cultivate. In general paw paws fruit best when they have fertile soil and ample sunlight. One vigorous tree in full sun will likely out produce a large clump of trees in heavy shade. The fruits ripen in late Summer in August all at once typically while the leaves are still on the tree. Eat them quickly or put them in the fridge for a slightly extended shelf life because they do not take long to start decomposing once they are off the tree. People say they taste like a banana, mango custard. Excellent for making ice cream and freezing for a mid-winter treat. Truly a must have addition to any temperate forest garden, they are unique, whimsical and delightful to enjoy with friends and family!

Paw Paw Tree

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