Pawpaw Tree
Pawpaw Additional Product Shot 900
Pawpaw Additional Product Shot 948
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Pawpaw Tree
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Pawpaw Additional Product Shot 900
Pawpaw Additional Product Shot 948
Pawpaw Additional Product Shot 1470

Growth Facts

  • Hardiness Zone: 5-9
  • Exposure: Filtered Sun to Full Sun when established
  • Bloom Time: Early Spring
  • Deer Resistant: Yes
  • Show more ›


Asimina triloba 'Pawpaw'
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The Pawpaw Tree, with foot-long leaves that droop lazily from the branches, will give your garden a laid-back tropical vibe.  Plant it where you’ll be able to appreciate its bold presencethroughout the growing seasonespecially in fall, when the foliage turns the color of ripe pineapple. If you plant more than one tree, you may also be rewarded with the gift of delectable fruits which have a tropical flair as well. About the size of a potato, the uncommon pawpaw fruit contains a sweet, creamy yellow flesh that’s often compared to banana custard in flavor. You’ll find it hard to believe that this dramatic tree doesn’t hail from some tropical paradise, but is actually native as far north as New York!

  • Size AA (2-3' tall) container grown
  • Size A (5-6' tall) grown in a grow bag 
  • Size B (7-8' tall) container grown 

Growth Facts

  • Hardiness Zone: 5-9
  • Exposure: Filtered Sun to Full Sun when established
  • Bloom Time: Early Spring
  • Deer Resistant: Yes
  • Show more ›

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The Story

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. Human 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. In fact, Pawpaw is the ONLY thing that zebra swallowtail caterpillars will eat, which is reason enough to grow this splendid tree.

The Details

Look for Pawpaw’s interesting 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.

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 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 like 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 Filtered Sun to Full Sun when established
Avg Mature Height 20'
Avg Mature Width 20'
Growth Rate Slow
Fall Leaf Color Yellow
Flower Color Maroon
Fruit Color Green
Fruit Time Fall
Foliage Color Green
Bloom Time Early Spring
Cary Award Winner No
PA Gold Medal Award No
Attractive Bark No
Attracts Birds No
Attracts Butterflies No
Attracts Hummingbirds No
Attracts Pollinators No
Deer Resistant Yes
Drought Tolerant No
Dry, Poor Soils No
Edible Fruit Yes
Fragrant No
Groundcover No
Hedge/Windbreak No
Native Yes
Salt Tolerance/Seashore No
Seasonal Cut Branches No
Shade Tolerance No
Showy Flowers No
Specimen Yes
Urban Conditions No
Utility Line Trees No
Wet Moist Soils No
Winter Interest No
Woodland Garden Yes
Decor/Craft Use No

Questions & Answers

Q: If permitted to sucker and form a pawpaw patch, will the pawpaw(s) still produce fruit.

A: Pawpaw does naturally sucker and form patches. This occurrence does not affect the plants ability to flower and produce fruit. Those suckers are still all genetically the same as the mother plant so you will need another Pawpaw so they can cross-pollinate.

Q: Are flies and beetles the only pollinators?

A: Pawpaw blossoms are designed by their color (purplish red) and odor (fetid) to attract their primary pollinators which are various species of flies and beetles. Bees rarely, if ever, visit pawpaw flowers. If natural pollination is inadequate, you may wish to attract flies to your pawpaw trees. Corwin Davis (he is the Godfather of pawpaw growing) found that hanging road kill in his trees during blossom season worked well. Although Bower & Branch does not endorse or encourage this action we share this only for understanding. Attracting flies to your trees can be accomplished many other ways not as offensive.

Q: How much water should the trees/patches get?

A: Pawpaw like a moist but well drained soil and lots of organic material in the soil. They will not thrive in a dry soil. So, now match this to your question of how much water. Assuming you have chosen a spot that matches the needs of your Pawpaws, water regularly for the first growing season, spring thru fall. After that I would consider watering only when drought conditions existed and then water slowly, deeply and infrequently. Consider watering every two to four weeks during dry periods once your pawpaws are established. Our Bower & Branch Water Element provides for this perfectly during times of drought or heat stress.

Size Guide

Size Guide Scale


Size: B

Size B

This graphic shows the approximate size and form of the Tree you are viewing.

Size A Trees:

5-6' tall. This size tree can be handled by one person but its stem and branching and overall size does not allow it to fit into a box. A van or SUV will be needed to bring this fantastic unique fruit tree home.

Size B Trees:

7-8' tall. This mature fruit tree is shipped with a heavy caliper and ready to make an impact on your landscape. Hard to find at this size! You will need a truck or trailer to bring this new addition to home to your landscape.

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Pawpaw Tree
Pawpaw Additional Product Shot 900
Pawpaw Additional Product Shot 948
Pawpaw Additional Product Shot 1470