Deciduous Fruit Tree
Sun: Full sun; can tolerate some shade
Height: 12'-36' tall, 8'-15' spacing if more than one
Bloom: dark red to brown
Bloom Time: April - May
Soil: Well-drained, fertile soil
Attracts: Butterflies, birds
Pollinator Benefit: Larval Host for Zebra Swallowtail and Pawpaw Sphinx Moth
Produces native Michigan fruit that looks like a mango and tastes like a banana!
Common Pawpaw (Asimina triloba) Common pawpaw is a small, short-trunked tree or large, multi-stemmed shrub, 10-40 ft. tall, with large, tropical-like leaves. Young shoots and leaves are covered with a rusty down, later becoming smooth. The thick, bright-green, deciduous leaves turn yellow-green in fall. Not particularly showy, but interesting, purple, six-petaled flowers are borne singly in leaf axils before leaf emergence. Large, cylindric, dark-green or yellow, edible fruit follows. The fruit is ripe when the skin turns brown. The fruit can be eaten raw, cutting them in half like an avocado, removing the large oblong seeds and sprinkling with lemon juice.
Common Pawpaw is the northernmost New World representative of a chiefly tropical family, which includes the popular tropical fruits Annona, Custard-apple, Sugar-apple, and Soursop. The wild fruit was once harvested, but the supply has now decreased greatly due to the clearing of forests. The small crop is generally consumed only by wildlife, such as opossums, squirrels, raccoons, and birds.