Atwood Pawpaw Tree
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Atwood Pawpaw Tree
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Growth Facts

  • Hardiness Zone: 5-9
  • Spacing: 15'
  • Exposure: Shade or Sun
  • Bloom Time: Spring
  • Deer Resistant: Yes
  • Show more ›

Atwood Pawpaw

Asimina triloba 'Atwood'
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Make room for this year's pawpaw harvest; Atwood will provide a heavy crop for you to enjoy! One of the heaviest pawpaw fruit producers, Atwood can produce over 100 delicious, banana-custard flavored fruits each year. An uncommon tree found in today's landscapes, the pawpaw tree is indigenous, contrary to the tropical vibe that this tree gives off. Grab your beach chairs and relax under the large leaves and enjoy your home-grown pawpaw fruits this fall!

Growth Facts

  • Hardiness Zone: 5-9
  • Spacing: 15'
  • Exposure: Shade or Sun
  • Bloom Time: Spring
  • Deer Resistant: Yes
  • Show more ›

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The Story

The first Pawpaw cultivar introduced from Kentucky State University, Atwood Pawpaw will become a fan favorite quickly. Atwood is the first of two heavy-crop Pawpaws introduced, the second being Benson Pawpaw. Named after former KSU president Rufus A. Atwood, who led and supported efforts to desegregate Kentuckian education in the '40s. "Way down yonder in the Pawpaw patch..." so goes the old folk song celebrating this beloved native plant, which has a long history in America. Pawpaw was valued in ancient times by Native Americans, and the delicious fruits later nourished European settlers and explorers like Lewis and Clark. Humans aren't the only ones who delight in this yummy fruit treat—wildlife love pawpaws, too. The foliage feeds the young of the dazzling white, black, and red zebra swallowtail butterfly. Pawpaw is the ONLY thing that zebra swallowtail caterpillars will eat, which is reason enough to grow this splendid tree.

The Details

What a harvest! Atwood Pawpaw is one of the heaviest producers of Pawpaw fruits. The average number of fruit for an Atwood is 150 pieces per tree. That's a lot of fruit! Atwood Pawpaw fruit ripens mid-season, providing an excellent snack for the end of summer, beginning of fall. Look for Pawpaw's attractive flowers in mid-to-late spring. These thick-textured, triangular, burgundy-colored blooms are primitive from a botanical standpoint. Exuding a very faint musky scent, they are meant to attract beetles and flies for pollination instead of bees. It isn't clear whether or not a single Pawpaw Tree can pollinate itself, but planting two different trees will ensure cross-pollination, promoting optimum fruit set in fall.

Height: 12-15 ft
Spread: 12-15 ft
Exposure: Full Sun, Part Shade
Foliage: Green
Fall Foliage: Yellow
Zones: 5-9"

How to Grow

Pawpaw’s home in the wild is at forest edges or in the woodland understory, and it appreciates similar conditions in the landscape. It is happiest in a site with rich, organic-laden, well-drained soil and a generous layer of mulch. It flourishes in the shade but will tolerate full sun if it is shaded for the first few years and if regular irrigation can be provided. This tree doesn’t like constantly soggy soil, but it doesn’t want to dry out, either. Suckers may appear around the tree—this is simply Pawpaw’s natural growth habit. You may pull or mow off the suckers to maintain the tree as a single-trunked specimen, or you may let them grow to allow a Pawpaw patch of your own to form.

More Info

Cold Tolerance/Hardiness Zone 5
Heat Tolerance/Hardiness Zone 9
Exposure Shade or Sun
Avg Mature Height 10-15'
Avg Mature Width 5-8'
Spacing 15'
Growth Rate Slow
Leaf Color Light Green
Fall Leaf Color Brilliant Yellow
Flower Color Purple/Maroon
Flower Time Spring
Fruit Color Light Green
Fruit Time Fall
Foliage Color Light Green
Bloom Time Spring
Cary Award Winner No
PA Gold Medal Award No
Attractive Bark No
Attracts Birds Yes
Attracts Butterflies No
Attracts Hummingbirds No
Attracts Pollinators Yes
Deer Resistant Yes
Drought Tolerant No
Dry, Poor Soils No
Edible Fruit Yes
Fragrant Yes
Groundcover No
Hedge/Windbreak No
Native No
Salt Tolerance/Seashore No
Seasonal Cut Branches No
Shade Tolerance Yes
Showy Flowers No
Specimen No
Urban Conditions No
Utility Line Trees No
Wet Moist Soils Yes
Winter Interest No
Woodland Garden No
Decor/Craft Use No

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Atwood Pawpaw Tree