Common Pawpaw

paw paw

Asimina triloba 

Plant Characteristics:

  • Duration: perennial 
  • Habit: tree
  • Root type: Tap 
  • Leaf retention: deciduous   
  • Breeding system: flower bisexual 
  • Fruit type: Berry 
  • Size class: up to 40 feet
  • Native Habitat: ditches, ravines, depressions, floodplains, bottomlands 
  • Bloom time: April-May

Growing Conditions 

  • Light:
    • Sun, partial shade, shade
  • Soil:
    • Moisture: Moist
    • CaCO3 Tol: Medium 
    • Description: Rich, moist, slightly acidic soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay
  • Water Use:
    • Medium
  • Condition comments:
    • This is a good understory tree. No serious disease or insect problems. 


  • Ornamental understory tree
    • Aromatic 
  • Wildlife use: small mammals like the fruit, 
  • Edible for human consumption: Fruit tastes like Bananas 
    • But can cause gastrointestinal distress 
  • Conspicuous flower 
  • Deer resistant 
  • Attracts bees and butterflies


  • Leaves are poisonous and some people have reported skin irritation when handling the fruit 
  • Fruit can leave a mess on sidewalks and patios but rarely seeds much fruit if one tree is planted (i.e cross pollination is required)