Benson Pawpaw Tree
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Benson Pawpaw Tree
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Growth Facts

  • Hardiness Zone: 5-9
  • Spacing: 8-15'
  • Exposure: Shade or Sun
  • Bloom Time: Spring
  • Deer Resistant: Yes
  • Show more ›

Benson Pawpaw

Asimina triloba 'Benson'

This plant is not available at this time through Bower & Branch. Bower & Branch provides this information for reference only. Please click here to be placed on a waiting list. See below for other selections.

Benson Pawpaw Trees boast a strong production of delicious fruits with a tropical taste, dipped in hints of mango and pineapple. Sweet and aromatic fruit like a custard smoothie! Thick leaves, rich and green in color, drape this midsize tree like a rainforest canopy - turning your backyard into an oasis! It’s hard to find these fruits at the supermarket, and now you could be picking them right off the tree for your nutritious morning breakfast or afternoon snack!

Growth Facts

  • Hardiness Zone: 5-9
  • Spacing: 8-15'
  • Exposure: Shade or Sun
  • Bloom Time: Spring
  • Deer Resistant: Yes
  • Show more ›

Recommended by Our Growers

  • Audubon® Pawpaw Tree Audubon® Pawpaw Leaf

    Audubon® Pawpaw

  • Atwood Pawpaw Tree

    Atwood Pawpaw

The Story

Kentucky University has done it again and has produced another great Pawpaw variety for all to enjoy! Benson is named after the director of the KSU Land Grant Program, Dr. Harold R. Benson. Dr. Benson supported the Pawpaw research since the beginning. "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

"Benson is going to become one of your favorite Pawpaw varieties! Like Atwood Pawpaw, this high-producing tree averages around 150 fruit per tree; that's a lot of fruit! Each fruit has a rich flavor that is a mix between mango, pineapple, and banana. What sets Benson apart is that its fruit is rounded instead of elongated like other Pawpaw varieties. 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 15-20'
Avg Mature Width 15-20'
Spacing 8-15'
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

Size Guide

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Benson Pawpaw Tree