Pawpaw

Silhouette - pawpaw
  • Latin name: Asimina triloba (L.) Dunal
  • French name: Asiminier trilobé
  • Taxonomic Serial Number: 18117
Description

Leaves

  • Leaf - pawpaw

Form

  • Deciduous, alternate, simple
  • Thin, pendulous
  • Unpleasant odour when bruised
  • Principal veins prominent
  • Looped together near the margin
  • About 15 per side

Length

  • 15–30 cm

Width

  • Widest above the middle

Colour

  • Hairs reddish-brown
  • Upper surface green
  • Lower surface paler
  • Principal veins on lower surface reddish-brown

Petiole

  • Short, grooved

Buds

  • Lateral bud and leaf scar - pawpaw

Form

  • Terminal bud present, elongated, flattened
  • Without scales
  • Exposed immature leaves covered with hairs
  • Lateral buds smaller than terminal
  • Pressed against the twig
  • Often 2 buds together, lowermost very small
  • Flower buds larger, globular, stalked
  • Leaf scars crescent-shaped, almost encircling the bud
  • Covered with a membrane for a short time after leaf fall
  • 5–7 vein scars

Colour

  • Hairs reddish-brown

Twigs

  • Winter twig - pawpaw

Form

  • Slender, zigzag, becoming hairless
  • Fine, shallow grooves
  • Pith solid, banded

Colour

  • Brownish, streaked with whitish grooves
  • Pith whitish

Flowers

Form

  • Solitary or in small clusters
  • Showy with an unpleasant odour
  • Insect-pollinated
  • Drooping

Width

  • 4 cm

Colour

  • Reddish-purple

Structure

  • Synoecious
  • On previous year’s twigs

Floral timing

  • When the leaves begin to unfold

Fruits

  • Longitudinal section through fruit showing seeds - pawpaw
  • Fruit (left); seed (right) - pawpaw

Form

  • Fleshy, with edible pulp
  • Irregular cylindrical

Length

  • To 12 cm

Colour

  • Pale greenish-yellow becoming yellow to brownish when ripe

Structure

  • Berry
  • Solitary or in clusters

Seeds

Form

  • Flattened, several per fruit

Colour

  • Dark brown

Bark

Form

  • Thin and smooth when young, becoming rough with age

Colour

  • Shiny dark brown with greyish blotches when young

 

Size

Height

  • 10 m

 

Tree form

  • Silhouette - pawpaw

Forest-grown

Crown

  • Broad, with straight, spreading branches

Habitat

Site

  • Rich moist soils of floodplains and wet woods
  • In colonies as an understory tree

Light tolerance

  • Shade-tolerant

 

Range

Rare in Canada
In Ontario, north of Lake Erie

Photos
  • Pawpaw
  • Pawpaw
  • Pawpaw
Distribution map
Distribution map - pawpaw
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