Pawpaw Native Fruit Trees
Go native and grow North America’s largest edible native fruit, the pawpaw.
The pawpaw tree grows 15 to 20’ tall and can be found growing in river floodplains and bottomlands throughout most of eastern North America.
The fruit has a strong aroma, sweet, banana-like flavor, and consistency of custard. The flavor can vary with the variety but most find Potomac, Rebecca’s Gold and Sunflower have a reliable good taste.
Plant at least two different pawpaw varieties to ensure pollination and fruit formation. And be patient, the trees usually don’t start producing fruit for six or seven years.
Watch for the early spring dark purple flowers and the flies and beetles that pollinate them. Some gardeners find hand pollination helps to boost fruit production.
Harvest the large fruit when they are soft to the touch.
Their short shelf life has kept them out of farmer’s markets or the grocery store.
A bit more information
Horticulture Magazine shares more on cultivars of native fruit worthy of including in the landscape. American persimmon is a large adaptable tree and Muscadine are tasty concord-like grapes you just might enjoy.