What does a paw paw tree look like?

About Pawpaw Trees: Tips For Planting A Pawpaw Tree

The aromatic pawpaw fruit has a tropical flavor, resembling creamy custard made from bananas, pineapples and mangos. The tasty fruit is popular with raccoons, birds, squirrels and other wildlife as well as man. Ornamental qualities include an attractive shape that can be pyramidal or conical, and leaves that often turn brilliant yellow in autumn before dropping from the tree. Pawpaw tree care includes watering to keep the soil moist, a regular schedule of fertilization, and in most cases, hand pollination of the flowers.

About Pawpaw Trees

Pawpaws (Asimina triloba) are small deciduous trees that can fit into almost any landscape. Native to North America, they grow wild in 25 eastern states and Ontario. Thriving in river-bottom lands where the soil is deep, moist and fertile, you can usually find them growing in clumps and thickets.

The pawpaw trees available for sale in nurseries and online sources are usually grown from seeds, although you can occasionally find grafted trees. You probably won’t be successful planting a pawpaw tree that was dug from the wild. These saplings are usually root suckers that won’t have a good root mass of their own.

Growing Conditions for Pawpaw Trees

Pawpaws prefer a moist, fertile soil. The soil should be slightly acidic to neutral and well-drained. Prepare a soil that is rich in organic matter by working a thick layer of compost deep into the soil.

Pawpaw Tree Care

Help young seedlings and saplings establish themselves by fertilizing pawpaw trees with a balanced liquid fertilizer every few weeks for the first growing season. Afterward, use a granular fertilizer or a layer of compost in spring. Keep the area around the tree weed-free.

Pawpaw trees can’t pollinate themselves, so you will need two different types of trees to produce fruit. To further complicate matters, the insects that pollinate pawpaws aren’t efficient or abundant, so you may have to fertilize the trees by hand to get a good crop. When you can see a brown ball of anthers with yellow pollen grains in the flowers, it is time to gather the pollen.

Use a small, soft artist’s paintbrush to transfer the pollen from one tree to the stigma inside the flowers of another tree. The stigma is most receptive when the pistils are green and glossy and the anthers are hard and green. Most flowers contain several ovaries, so each flower results in more than one fruit. Don’t overdo it! If you pollinate too many flowers, you’ll have to thin the crop to prevent the branches from breaking under the weight of the fruit.

Episode 19: All You Need To Know About Pawpaws

They’re native in large parts of North America. They produce delicious fruit that tastes a bit like mango, banana and vanilla custard. So why are pawpaws so hard to grow? In this episode of The Urban Forestry Radio Show we speak to horticulturalist Dan Bissonnette, author of The Pawpaw Grower’s Manual For Ontario.

On the show Dan answers our questions about why it can be hard to establish this beautiful tree, how to grow it and care for it, and what to do with the delicious fruit. And the conversation with Dan continues on this post on OrchardPeople.com’s facebook page.

The host of the Urban Forestry Radio Show and Podcast is Susan Poizner of the fruit tree care education website www.orchardpeople.com. Susan is also the author of the award-winning fruit tree care book Growing Urban Orchards. Listen to previous episodes of The Urban Forestry Radio Show and Podcast at www.orchardpeople.com/podcast and subscribe to the iTunes podcast.

Tune into The Urban Forestry Radio Show LIVE by going to RealityRadio101.com on the last Tuesday of every month at 1.00 pm Eastern Time. This show covers fruit trees, food forests, permaculture and arboriculture.

Pawpaw expert and author Dan Bisonette and his pawpaw tree in Windsor, Ontario.

What you will learn about pawpaws in this episode

  • What does pawpaw fruit taste like?
  • What is the difference between American, Caribbean and Australian pawpaws?
  • How can these plants provide economic prosperity?
  • What are some damaging conditions to avoid for a newly planted pawpaw tree?
  • What are the optimal growth conditions for pawpaws?
  • Can pawpaws grow and mature healthily in a pot?
  • How and when do you transplant a pawpaw tree?
  • How do you prune pawpaw trees?
  • What are their pollination requirements?
  • What are the common diseases or pests that afflict pawpaws?
  • What regions should you purchase pawpaw seeds from?
  • How do you propagate pawpaws from seed or fruit?
  • What are the optimal soil conditions for pawpaw?

Click the player below to listen now!

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How to Grow Pawpaw

Pawpaws are like a gift from the gods! Easily grown in home gardens, their delicious, sweet flesh can be enjoyed at the breakfast table for most of the year. Native to southern Mexico and central America, pawpaw flourishes in the tropics and subtropics where individual trees can be productive for up to 6 years.

Which sex to buy?

Pawpaw trees can be male, female 
or bisexual (meaning they produce 
flowers which have both male and
 female functioning parts). It’s
 important to be aware of this as
 male specimens won’t bear fruit and
 female trees will need a male tree somewhere nearby for fertilisation before they can set fruit. Trees can be easy to grow from seed, but this can make it difficult to achieve the best male – female tree combination for fruit production. Bisexual varieties, which are now readily available in garden centres, are self-pollinating which can make them an easier option.

Soil preparation

Pawpaws grow best in soils rich in organic matter, but good drainage is important to prevent root rot. Two weeks before planting, mix plenty of 5IN1 Organic Fertiliser into the soil. Pawpaws don’t like very acid soils. The optimum soil pH is 6.0 to 6.5. If the soil is more acidic than this, after you’ve checked with a Soil pH Test Kit, dig lime or dolomite into the soil at the recommended rate and allow it to settle for two weeks before planting.

Planting Pawpaw

Pawpaws are prolific fruiters in
 warm climates. Plant them in a
 warm, sunny position and keep them well protected from frost. When planting, allow enough space between the trees to encourage air flow which will reduce mildew attack and allow pollinating insects to roam freely around them. Mulch well after planting and water well.

Pawpaw Maintenance

For best fruiting, apply Searles Liquid Potash every 2 to 3 weeks, starting before the first formation of flower buds and continuing through to the end of fruit production. Pawpaws are heavy feeders, so for best fruit 
production apply Searles 
Kickalong Fruit & Flower 
organic plant food as 
directed throughout the
 growing season. Water requirements depend on the weather, but watering pawpaws once weekly throughout the growing season or twice weekly during drier weather is a good guide.

Harvest

Some trees take 60–120 days to mature and others take up to 12 months before they start bearing fruit. A good strategy is to harvest the fruit just before it ripens so pick it when it’s about two-thirds golden in colour and allow it to finish ripening indoors. In the tropics, fruits will grow all year round and healthy trees can produce up to 30kg of fruit each growing season. In the subtropics, fruiting will usually cease during the winter months.

The Yum Factor

Green pawpaw can be cooked up in stir-fries and eaten as a vegetable. Fresh, ripe fruit can be enjoyed on its own or with a blob of ice cream, in smoothies, fruit salads or as a pavlova topping. Try our Green Pawpaw Salad recipe!

Pest and Disease Control

Control broad mites with 
a sulphur spray. Keep an
 eye out for aphids and
 caterpillars, which can 
be hosed off and squashed if the infestation isn’t too severe. Get rid of fruit fly by hanging Searles Fruit Fly Traps around the trees. To reduce fruit rot and fungal problems, pick the fruit early and ripen it indoors, as described earlier. In humid weather watch for mildew, which can be discouraged with good airflow around the plants and can be controlled with Searles Mancozeb Plus.

Growing Spices at Home How to Grow Fruit Trees in Pots

Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw Patch

Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw Patch

There are many relationships that stitch together the tapestry of a place as biodiverse as the Tennessee River Gorge. John Muir famously wrote that “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.” Some of those relationships are distant, tertiary. Others are direct and dependent, like the one between a striking butterfly and its’ host tree that are native to the Gorge.

The zebra swallowtail butterfly is an unmistakable beauty.

As her name suggests, her wings are zebra-striped, with the addition of red spots at the base of the hind wings. With her striking pattern and long tails, she is one who commands attention. And when she captures my attention, I follow because the caterpillar of the zebra swallowtail feeds exclusively on the young leaves of our native pawpaw tree, and that is where she needs to lay her eggs. Find a pawpaw patch, and you can find the largest native North American fruit—the delectable pawpaw!

If you were ever young in Southern Appalachia, you may or may not have known the zebra swallowtail, and you may or may not have eaten a pawpaw, but there is a good chance you knew the song:

Where, oh where, oh where is Susie? Where, oh where, oh where is Susie? Where, oh where, of where is Susie? Way down yonder in the pawpaw patch. Pickin’ up pawpaws; put ’em in a basket. Pickin’ up pawpaws; put ’em in a basket. Pickin’ up pawpaws; put ’em in a basket. Way down yonder in the paw-paw patch.

You might have learned different verses. If you were at a girls’ camp you might have been looking for Danny instead of Susie, or you might have put them in your pocket instead of in a basket, but we all picked up pawpaws and put them somewhere, and as we kept singing, the song led us to action:

Come along, boys, and let’s go find her. Come along, boys, and let’s go find her. Come along, boys, and let’s go find her. Way down yonder in the paw-paw patch.

Unfortunately, as much as we loved singing about, and imagining, little Susie, or Danny, or Nellie, or Timmy, most folks who have sung about pawpaws have never had the opportunity to pick one up and eat it. And those who have not, are missing out! I call the flavor of a pawpaw “mangomelonana,” because it really is a combination of mango, banana, and melon! They are a great addition to homemade ice cream or fruit smoothies, but I prefer to eat them right out of the skin. (Though, that preference might change should I ever make to Paw Paw, Michigan where the Paw Paw Brewing Company brews a Paw Paw Wheat Beer.) And, yes, “paw paw” is an acceptable spelling, as is “pawpaw,” and paw-paw.

To eat a pawpaw, simply cut through to the seeds and work your way around the fruit as if you were halving an avocado. Pull the halves apart and use a spoon to scrape the flesh and seeds out of the shell. Just like eating watermelon, you can clean the seeds in your mouth, then have a contest to see who can spit them the farthest.

Tennessee Smart Yards Native Plants

  • Home
  • Flowers
    • Common Name
    • Scientific Name
      • Adam’s Needle, Bear-grass
      • Alleghany Monkey Flower
      • Allegheny Spurge
      • American Columbo, Green Gentian
      • American Ginseng
      • American Jointweed, Southern Jointweed
      • American Lotus
      • American Senna, Wild Senna
      • American Spikenard
      • Angelica
      • Appalachian False Goat’s Beard
      • Aquatic Milkweed, Swamp Milkweed
      • Aromatic Aster
      • Arrow Arum, Green Arrow Arum
      • Arrowhead, Duck Potato
      • Ashy Sunflower, Downy Sunflower
      • Barksdale’s Trillium, Furrowed Wakerobin, Sulcate Toadshade
      • Barren Strawberry, Appalachian Barren Strawberry
      • Biennial Black-eyed Susan
      • Big Leaf Mountain Mint, Short-toothed Mountain Mint, Clustered Mountain Mint
      • Big-leaved Aster
      • Birdsfoot Violet
      • Bishop’s Cap, Miterwort, Twoleaf Miterwort
      • Black Cohosh, Bugbane, Black Snakeroot, Fairy Candles
      • Bloodroot
      • Blue Cohosh
      • Blue Ridge Carrionflower
      • Blue Sage, Giant Blue Sage, Pitcher Sage, Azure Blue Sage
      • Blue Star
      • Blue-eyed Grass, Stout Blue-eyed Grass
      • Blue-Ridge Buckbean, Aaron’s Rod, Carolina Lupine
      • Bluestem Goldenrod, Wreath Goldenrod, Blue-stemmed Goldenrod
      • Bluets, Quaker Ladies
      • Bog Goldenrod, Swamp Goldenrod
      • Boltonia, False Aster
      • Boneset, Common Boneset
      • Bowman’s Root, Indian Physic
      • Bushy Aster, Rice Button Aster
      • Butterfly Weed
      • Calico Aster
      • Calico Beardtongue, Longsepal Beardtongue
      • Canada Anemone
      • Canada Mayflower, False Lily-of-the-Valley, Wild Lily of the Valley Common Page
      • Canadian Milk Vetch
      • Canadian White Violet
      • Cardinal Flower
      • Carolina Anemone
      • Carolina Elephant’s Foot
      • Carolina Lily, Michaux’s Lily
      • Carolina Spring Beauty
      • Carolina Wild Petunia
      • Catesby’s Trillium, Nodding Rose Trillium, Bashful Wakerobin
      • Celandine Poppy, Wood Poppy
      • Cheerful Sunflower, Morning Sun Sunflower
      • Cinnamon Willow Herb, Purpleleaf Willowherb
      • Cliff Goldenrod, Ozark Goldenrod
      • Columbine
      • Common Blue Violet
      • Common Blue-eyed Grass, White Blue-eyed Grass
      • Common Cattail, Broadleaf Cattail
      • Common Evening Primrose
      • Common Milkweed
      • Compass Plant
      • Copper Iris, Red Iris
      • Coral Bells, American Alumroot, Rock Geranium
      • Cow Parsnip
      • Cream Violet, Striped Cream Violet
      • Cream Wild Indigo, Longbract Wild Indigo
      • Creeping Phlox
      • Crested Iris, Dwarf Crested Iris
      • Crooked-stemmed Aster
      • Culver’s Root
      • Cup Plant
      • Cut-leavedToothwort, Toothwort
      • Dark-eyed Sunflower, Appalachian Sunflower, Purpledisk Sunflower
      • Devil’s-Bit, Fairy Wand
      • Ditch Stonecrop
      • Dittany, Common Dittany, American Dittany, Frost Mint
      • Doll’s Eyes, White Baneberry
      • Dotted Blazing Star, Dotted Gayfeather
      • Downy Skullcap, Hoary Skullcap
      • Downy Yellow Violet
      • Drooping White Trillium, Bent Trillium, Wood Lily
      • Drummond’s Aster
      • Dutchman’s Breeches
      • Dwarf Blazing Star, Ontario Blazing Star
      • Dwarf Ginseng
      • Dwarf Iris, Dwarf Violet Iris, Vernal Iris
      • Dwarf Larkspur, Spring Larkspur
      • Eared Tickseed, Lobed Tickseed
      • Early Blue Violet, Wood Violet
      • Early Buttercup
      • Early Goldenrod, Plume Goldenrod
      • Early Meadow Rue
      • Early Saxifrage
      • Early Sunflower, Smooth Oxeye
      • Eastern Beebalm, Bradbury’s Monarda
      • Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus, Devil’s Tongue
      • Eastern Smooth Beardtongue
      • Elm-leaved Goldenrod
      • Fairy Bells, Yellow Mandarin
      • False Aloe, Rattlesnake Master
      • False Boneset
      • False Dragonhead, Obedient Plant
      • False Goldenrod, Short-pappus Goldenrod, Autumn Goldenrod
      • False Rue Anemone
      • False Solomon’s Seal, Solomon’s Plume
      • Fewflower Milkweed, Red Milkweed, Coastal Milkweed
      • Fewleaf Sunflower, Western Sunflower
      • Fire Pink
      • Fireweed, Willow herb
      • Flat-topped Aster, Cornel-leaf Whitetop
      • Flowering Spurge
      • Foamflower, False Miterwort, Heartleaf Foamflower
      • Fourleaf Milkweed
      • Fragrant Waterlily, American White Waterlily
      • Fringed Bleedingheart
      • Fringed Loosestrife
      • Frost Grape, Fox Grape, Winter Grape, Wild Grape
      • Frost Weed, Iceplant, Winged Stem, White Crownbeard, Iceweed, Richweed, Squawweed
      • Galax, Wand Flower, Beetleweed
      • Garden Phlox, Summer Phlox
      • Germander
      • Giant Ironweed, Tall Ironweed
      • Giant Sunflower, Tall Sunflower
      • Glade Coneflower, Wavyleaf Purple Coneflower
      • Glade Phlox, Cleft Phlox, Starry Cleft Phlox, Sand Phlox
      • Goat’s Rue, Virginia Tephrosia
      • Goat’s-beard, Bride’s Feathers
      • Golden Alexanders, Golden Zizia
      • Golden Ragwort
      • Goldenseal
      • Grass-leaved Goldenrod, Flat-top Goldenrod
      • Gray Goldenrod, Old Field Goldenrod
      • Great Blue Lobelia
      • Great Indian Plantain
      • Great Merrybells, Large-flowered Bellwort
      • Greater Fringed Gentian
      • Green Dragon
      • Green-and-Gold, Golden Star
      • Green-headed Coneflower, Wild Golden Glow, Cutleaf Coneflower
      • Hairy Alumroot
      • Hairy Aster, Pringle’s Aster, Frost Aster, Hairy Oldfield Aster, Downy Aster, White Old-field Aster
      • Hairy Beardtongue
      • Hairy Rose Mallow
      • Hairy Solomon’s Seal, Small Solomon’s Seal
      • Hairy Sunflower, Rough Sunflower, Stiff-hair Sunflower, Bristly Sunflower, Whiskered Sunflower
      • Hairy Wood Mint, Hairy Pagoda-plant
      • Halberd-leaf Violet
      • Handsome Harry, Virginia Meadow Beauty
      • Harbinger-of-Spring, Salt-and-Pepper Plant
      • Harebell, Bluebell Bellflower, Bluebell of Scotland
      • Heart-leaf Golden Alexanders, Meadow Zizia
      • Heart-leaved Aster, Common Blue Wood Aster
      • Heartleaf Ginger, Little Brown Jug
      • Heartleaf Meehania, Meehan’s Mint
      • Hoary Verbena, Woolly Verbena, Tall Vervain, Hoary Vervain
      • Indian Cucumber-root
      • Indian Paintbrush
      • Indian Pink, Woodland Pink Root
      • Jack-in-the-Pulpit
      • Jacob’s Ladder, Greek Valerian
      • Jerusalem Artichoke, Sunchoke
      • Joe Pye Weed, Spotted Joe Pye Weed
      • Joe-Pye-Weed, Trumpet Weed
      • Jumpseed, Virginia Knotweed, Woodland Knotweed, Smartweed
      • Lance-leaf Coreopsis
      • Large Tickseed
      • Large-flowered Skullcap, Helmet Flower
      • Large-flowered Trillium, Great Trillium, White Trillium
      • Largeflower Heartleaf
      • Largeflower Tickseed, Large-flower Tickseed
      • Late Boneset, Lateflowering Thoroughwort
      • Late Figwort, Carpenter’s Square
      • Late Goldenrod, Giant Goldenrod
      • Late Purple Aster, Spreading Aster
      • Lion’s Foot, White Lettuce, White Rattlesnake Root
      • Littleflower Alumroot, Little-leaf Alumroot
      • Lizard’s Tail
      • Long-headed Coneflower, Upright Prairie Coneflower
      • Long-spurred Violet, Longspur Violet
      • Longflower Alumroot
      • Lyre-Leaved Sage, Cancer Weed
      • Mad-dog Skullcap, Blue Skullcap
      • Marsh Blazing Star, Gayfeather, Dense Blazing Star
      • Marsh Blue Violet
      • Marsh Marigold
      • Maryland Golden Aster
      • Maryland Meadow Beauty
      • Maryland Senna
      • Maximilian’s Sunflower
      • Mayapple, Mandrake
      • Meadow Parsnip, Purple Meadow Parsnip
      • Merrybells
      • Michigan Lily
      • Midwestern Indian Physic, American Ipecac
      • Missouri Evening Primrose, Bigfruit Evening Primrose
      • Missouri Ironweed
      • Mist Flower
      • Monkey Flower, Sharpwing Monkeyflower
      • Mud Plantain
      • Narrow-leaf Silkgrass, Grass-leaved Golden Aster
      • Narrow-leafed Cattail
      • Narrow-leaved Obedient Plant
      • Narrow-leaved Sunflower, Swamp Sunflower
      • New England Aster
      • New York Ironweed
      • Nodding Pink Onion
      • Northern Bedstraw
      • Northern Blazing Star, Devil’s Bite
      • Ohio Horsemint, Downy Wood Mint, Downy Pagoda-plant
      • Ohio Spiderwort, Bluejacket
      • Ozark Calamint, Limestone Calamint
      • Pale Beardtongue, Pale Penstemon
      • Pale Indian Plantain
      • Pale Purple Coneflower
      • Pale Spiked Lobelia, Palespike Lobelia
      • Pale-leafed Sunflower, Paleleaf Woodland Sunflower
      • Panicled Aster, White Panicle Aster, White Field Aster, Narrow Leaf Aster, Willow Aster
      • Parlin’s Pussytoes, Smooth Pussytoes, Big Head Pussytoes, Ladies’ Tobacco
      • Partridgeberry, Twinberry
      • Pearly Everlasting
      • Perennial Black-eyed Susan, Orange Coneflower
      • Pickerelweed
      • Pink Turtlehead
      • Poke Milkweed
      • Prairie Coneflower, Yellow Coneflower
      • Prairie Dock, Prairie Rosinweed
      • Prairie Indian Plantain
      • Prairie Lily, Wood Lily, Philadelphia Lily
      • Prairie Onion, Autumn Onion
      • Prairie Parsley, Nuttall’s Prairie Parsley
      • Prairie Phlox, Downy Phlox
      • Prairie Pussytoes
      • Prairie Sage, White Sagebrush
      • Prairie Trillium, Bloody Butcher
      • Purple Coneflower
      • Purple Giant Hyssop
      • Purple Meadow Rue, Tall Meadow Rue
      • Purple Milkweed
      • Purple Phacelia, Fernleaf Phacelia
      • Purple Prairie Clover
      • Purple Rocket
      • Purple Tassels, Purpletassels, Gattinger Prairie Clover
      • Purple-headed Sneezeweed
      • Pussytoes
      • Rattlesnake Master
      • Red Trillium, Purple Trillium, Stinking Benjamin
      • Robin’s Plantain
      • Rose Verbena, Rose Mock Vervain
      • Rosin Weed, Wholeleaf Rosinweed
      • Rosinweed Sunflower, Ozark Sunflower, Silphium Sunflower
      • Rough Blazing Star, Button Blazing Star, Tall Blazing Star
      • Rough-stemmed Goldenrod, Wrinkleleaf Goldenrod
      • Round-headed Bush Clover
      • Round-leaved Ragwort, Roundleaf Groundsel, Squaw Weed, Golden Groundsel
      • Round-lobed Liverleaf
      • Royal Catchfly
      • Rue Anemone
      • Sawtooth Sunflower
      • Scarlet Beebalm, Oswego Tea
      • Seedbox
      • Sensitive Plant, Sensitive-Briar, Little-leaf Mimosa
      • Sessile Toadshade, Wood Lily, Toad Trillium
      • Sharp-lobed Liverleaf, Sharplobe Hepatica
      • Shellbark Hickory, Big Leaf Shagbark, Big Shagbark Hickory, Bottom Shellbark, King Nut Hickory
      • Shooting Star
      • Short Green Milkweed, Green Comet Milkweed
      • Short’s Aster
      • Showy Evening Primrose
      • Showy Goldenrod
      • Silky Aster
      • Silverleaf Mountain Mint, Hoary Mountain Mint
      • Sky Blue Aster
      • Slender Bush Clover
      • Slender Mountain Mint, Narrowleaf Mountainmint
      • Small Yellow Wild Indigo
      • Small-headed Sunflower, Small Woodland Sunflower
      • Smallspike False Nettle
      • Small’s Beardtongue
      • Smooth Blue Aster
      • Smooth Penstemon, Foxglove Beardtongue
      • Smooth Phlox, Marsh Phlox
      • Smooth Rose Mallow, Scarlet Rose Mallow
      • Smooth Ruellia, Limestone Wild Petunia
      • Sneezeweed
      • Soapwort Gentian, Harvestbells
      • Solomon’s Seal
      • Southern Blazing Star, Scaly Blazing Star
      • Southern Blue Flag Iris
      • Southern Harebell
      • Spider Lily
      • Spider Milkweed, Green Antelopehorn
      • Spiderwort
      • Spotted Beebalm, Dotted Horsemint
      • Spotted Mandarin, Nodding Mandarin
      • Spotted Water Hemlock
      • Spring Beauty, Wild Potato, Virginia Spring Beauty
      • Squirrel Corn
      • Standing Cypress, Scarlet Gilia
      • Star Chickweed
      • Star Tickseed, Downy Tickseed
      • Starry Campion, Widowsfrill
      • Starry False Lily of the Valley, Starry Solomon’s Plume, Star-flowered Solomon’s Seal, Little False Solomon’s Seal
      • Stiff Gentian, Agueweed
      • Stiff Goldenrod
      • Stiff-leaved Aster
      • Striped Gentian, Sampson’s Snakeroot
      • Sundrops, Narrowleaf Evening Primrose
      • Swamp Candles, Earth Loosestrife
      • Swamp Goldenrod, Roundleaf Goldenrod
      • Swamp Lousewort, Marsh Betony
      • Swamp Milkweed
      • Swamp Rose Mallow
      • Swamp Saxifrage, Eastern Swamp Saxifrage
      • Swamp Thistle
      • Sweet Black-eyed Susan, Sweet Coneflower
      • Sweet Cicely
      • Sweet Goldenrod, Anisescented Goldenrod
      • Sweet Indian Plantain, Groovestem Indian Plantain
      • Sweet Joe Pye Weed, Sweet scented Joe Pye Weed
      • Sweet White Violet, Woodland White Violet
      • Tall Bellflower
      • Tall Boneset, Tall Thoroughwort
      • Tall Green Milkweed
      • Tall Larkspur
      • Tall Meadow Rue, King of the Meadow
      • Tall Thimbleweed
      • Tall Tickseed
      • Tall Water Parsnip, Hemlock Waterparsnip
      • Tennessee Coneflower
      • Thread-leaf Tickseed, Whorled Tickseed
      • Three-lobed Coneflower, Brown-eyed Susan
      • Toadshade, Little Sweet Betsy, Whippoorwill Flower
      • Trout Lily, Dogtooth Violet
      • Tube Beardtongue, Trumpet Penstemon, White Wand Penstemon
      • Turk’s Cap Lily
      • Turtlehead
      • Twinleaf
      • Twisted Petal Trillium, Blue Ridge Wakerobin
      • Two-leaved Toothwort, Crinkleroot
      • Upland Ironweed, Broadleaf Ironweed
      • Upland White Aster, Prairie Flat-top Goldenrod
      • Veiny Pea, Wild Sweet Pea, Bushy Vetch
      • Venus’ Pride, Large or Mountain Houstonia
      • Violet Wood Sorrel
      • Virginia Bluebells
      • Virginia Bunchflower, Bunch Flower
      • Virginia Mountainmint, American Mountainmint
      • Virginia Waterleaf, Eastern Water Leaf
      • Water Horehound, American Horehound, American Bugleweed
      • Waterleaf, Great Waterleaf
      • Wavyleaf Aster
      • Waxy-leaf Meadow Rue
      • White Arrow-leaved Aster
      • White Bergamont, Basil Balm
      • White Milkweed
      • White Prairie Clover
      • White Snakeroot
      • White Snakeroot, Lion’s Foot
      • White Trout Lily, White Fawn Lily
      • White Wild Indigo
      • White Wood Aster
      • Whiteflower Leafcup, Small-flowered Leafcup
      • Whorled Loosestrife
      • Whorled Milkweed
      • Wild Bergamont
      • Wild Blue Indigo
      • Wild Blue Larkspur, Carolina Larkspur
      • Wild Blue Phlox, Woodland Phlox
      • Wild Geranium
      • Wild Ginger
      • Wild Hyacinth
      • Wild Leek, Ramp
      • Wild Mint, Field Mint
      • Wild Oats, Sessile-leaf Bellwort
      • Wild Petunia
      • Wild Quinine
      • Wild Strawberry, Virginia Strawberry
      • Wild Sweet William, Meadow Phlox
      • Willow Aster
      • Winged Loosestrife
      • Wingstem
      • Wintergreen, Teaberry, Checkerberry
      • Wood Anemone
      • Wood Betony, Canadian Lousewort
      • Woodland Stonecrop, Wild Stonecrop
      • Woolly Elephant’s Foot
      • Yarrow, Common Yarrow
      • Yellow Avens
      • Yellow Giant Hyssop
      • Yellow Honeysuckle, Yellow Wild Honeysuckle
      • Yellow Pimpernel
      • Yellow Star Grass, Gold Star
      • Yellow Trillium, Wood Lily
      • Zig Zag Goldenrod, Broadleaf Goldenrod
  • Grasses/Sedges
    • Common Name
    • Scientific Name
      • American Beakgrain, Beak Grass
      • Awl-fruited Oval Sedge, Blunt Broom Sedge
      • Awned Graceful Sedge, Davis’ Sedge
      • Bent-awn Plumegrass, Sortbeard Plumegrass
      • Big Bluestem, Turkey-foot
      • Blue Joint Grass, Bluejoint
      • Bottlebrush Grass
      • Bristly Sedge, Longhair Sedge
      • Broomsedge Bluestem, Broom-sedge
      • Bur-reed Sedge
      • Bushy Bluestem, Bushy Beardgrass
      • Buxbaum’s Sedge, Brown Bag Sedge
      • Canada Wild Rye, Prairie Wild Rye, Nodding Wild Rye
      • Cattail Sedge
      • Clustered Fescue
      • Common Rush, Soft Rush
      • Common Wood Sedge, Eastern Woodland Sedge
      • Common Yellow Lake Sedge, Northwest Territory Sedge
      • Cord Grass, Slough Grass, Ripgut
      • Crested Oval Sedge, Crested Sedge
      • Crowfoot Fox Sedge, Ravenfoot Sedge
      • Curley-styled Wood Sedge, Rosy Sedge
      • Dark Green Bulrush, Black Bullrush
      • Drooping Sedge, Fringed Sedge
      • Dudley’s Rush
      • Eastern Gama Grass
      • Eastern Star Sedge, Straight-styled Wood Sedge
      • Fen Star Sedge, Dioecious Sedge, Sterile Sedge
      • Field Oval Sedge, Troublesome Sedge
      • Fowl Mannagrass, Fowl Manna Grass
      • Fox Sedge, Brown Fox Sedge
      • Frank’s Sedge
      • Fringed Brome
      • Gray Sedge, Creek Sedge
      • Gray’s Sedge, Common Bur Sedge, Morning Star Sedge
      • Great Bladder Sedge, Shining Bur Sedge
      • Greater Straw Sedge, Spreading Oval Sedge
      • Hairy Green Sedge, Fuzzy Wuzzy Sedge
      • Hairy Sedge, Lakebank Sedge, Common Lake Sedge
      • Hairy Woodland Brome
      • Hop Sedge
      • Indian Grass
      • Inflated Narrow-leaf Sedge, Eastern Narrowleaf Sedge, Wood Gray Sedge
      • Inland Rush, Interior Rush
      • Ivory Sedge, Bristleleaf Sedge, Bristly Cattail Sedge
      • James’s Sedge
      • Lance-fruited Oval Sedge, Broom Sedge
      • Limestone Meadow Sedge, Pale Sedge
      • Little Bluestem
      • Little Bluestem
      • Long-awned Bracted Sedge, Heavy Sedge
      • Narrow-leaved Cattail Sedge, Squarrosa Sedge
      • Oval-leaf Sedge, Short-headed Bracted Sedge, Capitate Sedge
      • Owlfruit Sedge, Awlfruit Sedge, Prickly Sedge, Common Fox Sedge
      • Painted Sedge, Boott’s Sedge
      • Palm Sedge, Muskingum Sedge
      • Path Rush, Poverty Rush
      • Pennsylvania Sedge, High Meadow Sedge, Common Oak Sedge
      • Pink Muhly, Pink Hair Grass
      • Porcupine Sedge, Bottlebrush Sedge
      • Prairie Dropseed
      • Prairie Star Sedge, Inland Sedge
      • Purple Love Grass
      • Purple-sheathed Graceful Sedge, Graceful Sedge
      • Purpletop, Purpletop Tridens
      • Reed Manna Grass, American Manna Grass
      • Rice Cut Grass, Rice Cutgrass
      • River Bulrush
      • River Cane, Giant Cane
      • River Oats, Northern Sea Oats
      • Rough Dropseed
      • Rufous Bulrush
      • Sallow Sedge
      • Sand Dropseed
      • Sand Lovegrass, Sand Love Grass
      • Sand Sedge, Sand Bracted Sedge
      • Seersucker Sedge, Plantainleaf Sedge
      • Shortbeak Sedge, Plains Oval Sedge, Short-Beaked Sedge
      • Short’s Sedge
      • Sideoats Grama
      • Silky Wild Rye, Hairy Wild Rye
      • Silver Plumegrass, Fairy Wands
      • Slender Looseflower Sedge, Slender Wood Sedge
      • Slender Sedge, Bristlystalked Sedge
      • Small Yellow Fox Sedge, Yellowfruit Sedge
      • Soft Fox Sedge
      • Softstem Bulrush, Great Bulrush
      • Splitbeard Bluestem
      • Squirrel-tail Grass, Foxtail Barley
      • Sugarcane Plume Grass
      • Switch Grass
      • Tussock Sedge, Upright Sedge
      • Upland Sea Oats, River Oats, Indian Woodoats
      • Virginia Wild Rye
      • Western Wheat Grass
      • Western Wheatgrass
      • White Bear Sedge
      • Wood Rush, Hedgehog Woodrush
      • Wool Grass, Cotton Grass
  • Vines
    • Common Name
    • Scientific Name
      • Alabama Supplejack, Rattanvine
      • American Bittersweet, Bittersweet
      • American Wisteria
      • Carolina Snailseed, Coralbeads
      • Climbing Hydrangea, Wild Hydrangeavine, Wood Vamp
      • Common Moonseed, Canada Moonseed
      • Coral Honeysuckle, Trumpet Honeysuckle
      • Crossvine
      • Dutchman’s Pipe
      • Fox Grape
      • Leather Flower, Vasevine, American Bells
      • Leather-Flower, Pale Leather Flower
      • Marsh Leather-Flower, Blue Jasmine
      • Muscadine Grape
      • Passion-flower, Maypop
      • Riverbank Grape
      • Summer Grape
      • Trumpet Creeper, Trumpet Vine
      • Virginia Creeper
      • Virgin’s Bower, Traveller’s Joy, Old Man’s Beard
      • Wild Yam, Colic Root
      • Wooly Pipevine, Common Dutchman’s Pipe
      • Yellow Jessamine, Carolina Jessamine, Everlasting Trumpetflower, Yellow Jessamine
      • Yellow Passion-flower, Small Passion-flower
  • Shrubs
    • Common Name
    • Scientific Name
      • Adamsneedle Yucca
      • Alabama Azalea
      • Alabama Snow-wreath, Neviusia, Alabama Snow Wreath
      • Allegheny Serviceberry, Smooth Serviceberry
      • American Bladdernut
      • American Filbert, Hazelnut
      • American Snowball
      • American Witchhazel, Common Witch Hazel
      • Arrowwood, Southern Arrowwood
      • Beaked Hazelnut
      • Beautyberry
      • Bigleaf Snowbell
      • Black Chokeberry
      • Black Haw, Blackhaw Viburnum
      • Blackcap Raspberry, Tall Blackberry, Black Raspberry
      • Buttonbush
      • Canadian Serviceberry, Shadbush Serviceberry, Juneberry
      • Carolina Rhododendron, Carolina Laurel, Piedmont Rhododendron
      • Carolina Rose, Pasture Rose
      • Catawba Rhododendron, Catawba Rosebay, Red Laurel, Early Azalea
      • Cinnamon Clethra, Mountain Pepperbush
      • Common Serviceberry, Juneberry, Downy Serviceberry, Shadbush
      • Coralberry, Indian Currant
      • Cumberland Rosemary
      • Deerberry
      • Dense St. John’s-wort, Bushy St. Johnswort
      • Drooping Laurel, Doghobble, Dog-laurel, Fetterbush
      • Elderberry, Common Elder, American Elder
      • False Indigo Bush, False Indigo
      • Farkleberry, Sparkleberry
      • Flame Azalea
      • Fragrant Sumac, Lemon Sumac, Polecat Bush
      • Golden Currant
      • Golden St. John’s-wort
      • Hairy Mock-orange, Cumberland Mock-orange, Streambank Mockorange
      • Hardhack Steeplebush
      • Highbush Blueberry
      • Hobblebush Viburnum
      • Large Fothergilla, Mountain Witch-alder
      • Late Lowbush Blueberry, Blue Ridge Blueberry, Hillside Blueberry
      • Leatherwood
      • Lowland Bladderfern, Lowland Fragile Fern, Lowland Brittle Fern, Southern Fragile Fern
      • Mapleleaf Viburnum
      • Mountain Camellia, Mountain Stewartia
      • Mountain Laurel
      • Mountain Pieris, Fetter Bush
      • New Jersey Tea
      • Ninebark, Common Ninebark
      • Northern Bush Honeysuckle, Dwarf Bush Honeysuckle
      • Northern Dewberry, Prickly Dewberry
      • Northern Witherod, Withe-rod
      • Oak Leaf Hydrangea
      • Oak-leaf Hydrangea
      • Pagoda Dogwood, Alternateleaf Dogwood, Alternate-Leaf Dogwood
      • Piedmont Azalea
      • Pinxterbloom Azalea
      • Possumhaw
      • Prairie Rose, Illinois Rose, Climbing Prairie Rose
      • Prairie Willow, Dwarf Willow
      • Purpleflowering Raspberry, Flowering Raspberry, Fragrant Thimbleberry
      • Red Chokeberry
      • Roseshell Azalea
      • Sandbar Willow, Narrowleaf Willow, Coyote Willow
      • Scarlet Elder, Red-berried Elderberry, Red Elderberry
      • Shining Sumac, Winged Sumac, Dwarf Sumac
      • Shrubby St. John’s-wort
      • Silky Dogwood
      • Silky Willow
      • Smooth Hydrangea, Wild Hydrangea
      • Smooth Sumac, Scarlet Sumac
      • Southern Bush Honeysuckle
      • Spicebush, Common Spicebush
      • Stiff Dogwood, Swamp Dogwood, English Dogwood, Stiff Cornel
      • Strawberry Bush, Heart’s-a-bustin, Bursting-Heart
      • Swamp Azalea
      • Swamp Privet, Eastern Swampprivet
      • Swamp Rose
      • Sweet Azalea, Smooth Azalea
      • Sweet Fern
      • Sweet Pepperbush, Summersweet, Coastal Sweet Pepperbush
      • Sweetshrub, Carolina Allspice, Sweet Betsy
      • Tag, Smooth or Common Alder
      • Virginia Rose, Pasture Rose, Wild Rose
      • Virginia Sweetspire, Virginia Willow
      • Winterberry
      • Witherod, Possum Haw, Southern Witherod
      • Yaupon Holly
      • Yellowroot
  • Ferns
    • Common Name
    • Scientific Name
      • Blunt-lobed Cliff-fern, Blunt-lobed Woodsia
      • Broad Fern, Southern Beech Fern, Broad Beech Fern
      • Christmas Fern
      • Cinnamon Fern
      • Crested Woodfern, Crested Shield-Fern, Buckler Fern, Narrow Swamp Fern
      • Ebony Spleenwort
      • Evergreen Woodfern, Common Woodfern, Intermediate Woodfern
      • Goldie’s Woodfern, Giant Woodfern, Goldie’s Shield Fern
      • Hay-scented Fern
      • Interrupted Fern
      • Ladyfern
      • Log Fern
      • Maidenhair Fern
      • Marginal Woodfern, Marginal Shield-fern
      • Narrow-leaved Spleenwort, Glade Fern, Silvery Spleenwort
      • Netted Chain Fern, Netted Chainfern
      • New York Fern, Tapering Fern
      • Rattlesnake Fern
      • Royal Fern, Flowering Fern
      • Sensitive Fern, Bead Fern
      • Silvery Spleenwort, Silvery Glade Fern
      • Walking Fern
      • Western Bracken Fern, Western Brackenfern, Brake Fern
  • Trees
    • Common Name
    • Scientific Name
      • American Basswood, American Linden, White Basswood
      • American Beech
      • American Chestnut
      • American Elm, White Elm
      • American Holly
      • American Hophornbeam, Ironwood, Eastern Hophornbeam
      • American Hornbeam, Musclewood, Blue Beech, Ironwood
      • American Red Plum, Wild Plum, American Plum
      • American Smoketree, Chittamwood
      • Bald Cypress, Baldcypress
      • Bigleaf Magnolia
      • Bitternut Hickory, Swamp Hickory
      • Black Cherry, Wild Cherry
      • Black Locust, Common Locust, Yellow Locust, False Acacia
      • Black Maple, Black Sugar Maple
      • Black Oak
      • Black Tupelo, Black Gum, Sour Gum
      • Black Walnut, Eastern Black Walnut
      • Blackjack Oak
      • Blue Ash
      • Bur Oak, Mossycup Oak
      • Carolina Buckthorn, Carolina False Buckthorn, Indian Cherry
      • Chalk Maple, Chalkbark Maple, Whitebark Maple
      • Cherrybark Oak, Swamp Spanish Oak, Southern Red Oak
      • Chestnut Oak, Mountain Chestnut Oak, Rock Oak, Rock Chestnut Oak
      • Chickasaw Plum, Sand Plum, Mountain Cherry, Sand Hill Plum
      • Chinquapin Oak, Chinkapin Oak, Rock Oak, Yellow Chestnut Oak
      • Chokecherry, Common Chokecherry
      • Cockspur Hawthorn
      • Common Honeylocust, Honey Locust, Sweet Locust
      • Common Hoptree, Wafer-ash
      • Common Persimmon, Possumwood, Eastern Persimmon
      • Cucumbertree
      • Devil’s Walkingstick, Hercules Club Prickly Ash, Angelica Tree
      • Downy Hawthorn
      • Dwarf Hackberry, Small Sugar Hackberry
      • Eastern Hemlock, Canada Hemlock
      • Eastern Red-cedar, Redcedar
      • Eastern Wahoo, Burningbush
      • Eastern White Pine
      • Flowering Dogwood
      • Green Ash, Red Ash
      • Green Hawthorn
      • Hackberry, Common Hackberry
      • Kentucky Coffeetree
      • Loblolly Pine, Old Field Pine, Bull Pine, Rosemary Pine
      • Mockernut Hickory, White Hickory, Big Bud Hickory
      • Northern Catalpa, Hardy Catalpa, Cigar Tree
      • Ohio Buckeye, Fetid Buckeye
      • Overcup Oak, Swamp White Oak, Water White Oak
      • Pagoda Dogwood
      • Parsley Hawthorn
      • Pawpaw, Dog Banana
      • Pecan, Hardy Pecan
      • Pignut Hickory
      • Pin Cherry, Fire Cherry, Bird Cherry, Wild Red Cherry
      • Pin Oak, Swamp Oak
      • Pitch Pine, Northern Pitch Pine
      • Post Oak, Iron Oak
      • Red Buckeye
      • Red Maple, Scarlet Maple, Swamp Maple
      • Red Mulberry
      • Red Oak, Northern Red Oak
      • Redbud, Eastern Redbud
      • River Birch, Red Birch
      • Rosebay Rhododendron, White Laurel, Great Laurel
      • Roughleaf Dogwood, Drummond’s Dogwood
      • Rusty Blackhaw Viburnum, Southern Blackhaw, Downy Viburnum
      • Sassafras
      • Scarlet Oak
      • Shagbark Hickory
      • Shingle Oak, Laurel Oak
      • Shining Sumac, Flameleaf Sumac, Winged Sumac
      • Shortleaf Pine, Yellow Pine, Spruce Pine
      • Shumard Oak, Shumard’s Oak, Swamp Red Oak, Southern Red Oak
      • Silver Maple
      • Silverbell, Mountain Silverbell
      • Smooth Sumac
      • Sourwood, Sorrel Tree, Lily-of-the-Valley Tree
      • Southern Catalpa, Cigar Tree, Indian Bean
      • Southern Crabapple, Southern Crab Apple
      • Southern Magnolia, Bull Bay, Evergreen Magnolia
      • Southern Red Oak, Spanish Oak
      • Southern Sugar Maple, Rock Maple, Florida Maple
      • Staghorn Sumac
      • Striped Maple, Moosewood
      • Sugar Maple, Rock Maple, Hard Maple
      • Swamp Chestnut Oak, Cow Oak, Basket Oak
      • Swamp White Oak
      • Sweet Birch, Cherry Birch, Black Birch
      • Sweetbay Magnolia, Laurel Magnolia, Swamp Magnolia
      • Sweetgum, Redgum, Starleaf-gum
      • Sycamore, American Planetree, Buttonwood
      • Tulip Poplar, Tulip Tree, Tuliptree, Tulip Magnolia
      • Umbrella Magnolia, Umbrella-Tree
      • Virginia Pine, Scrub Pine, Spruce Pine, Poverty Pine, Jersey Pine
      • Washington Hawthorn
      • Water Oak, Possum Oak
      • Water Tupelo, Cotton Gum, Tupelo Gum
      • White Ash
      • White Basswood, Linden, White Linden, Silver-leaved Linden
      • White Fringetree, Grancy Gray Beard, Old-man’s-beard, Fringe Tree
      • White Oak
      • Willow Oak, Peach Oak
      • Yellow Birch
      • Yellow Buckeye
      • Yellowwood, American Yellowwood
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Pickin’ Up Pawpaws

  • Pawpaws in a basket

It’s pawpaw time in Tennessee. The pawpaw is the fruit of the native (but tropical in history) tree, Asimina triloba. There’s a little song with the chorus, “Pickin’ up pawpaws, put ’em in your pockets,” but few people these days seem to know about pawpaws and even fewer have tasted them. But they are quite common and according to fans, quite tasty. When picked ripe, the fruit is described as tasting like a cross between a banana and mango, cantaloupe, or persimmon and with a custardy, luscious texture.

Sounds fantastic, doesn’t it? So why aren’t we eating them? Generally speaking, the shelf life for a pawpaw is short. For optimal taste, they should be picked when ripe — that is, when the green skin has turned yellow-brown — and will only be good for one to two weeks after picking, even if refrigerated. And the fruits tend to ripen all at once, making them difficult to sell commercially.

If you want a paw paw, your best bet is to find a friend with a pawpaw tree. This photo was taken by my mother as she collected hers in West Tennessee, but I won’t see her within the next few weeks, so I am pawpaw-less myself. I need to know of a local pawpaw patch.

However, there is a persimmon tree in my neighborhood that I plan to, um, visit soon. The owners of the tree only recently bought their home, so I should probably introduce myself before stealing their fruit. And there are some fruit-bearing trees along 23rd Avenue that look rather tempting, but I don’t know what they are. I suppose it’s time to consult the old copy of Stalking the Wild Asparagus before popping one in my mouth.

Any other found fruit (or sources for found fruit)? I prefer legal sources. I can offer black walnuts, a few crabapples, and some hearty herbs in exchange. Those are the only edibles (aside from dandelions and purslane) the squirrels have left for me on my own property.

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