I Want To Plant a Paw Paw Tree!

aka Asimona Triloba ……. aka I Never Heard of It!

wild paw

Have you heard of this variety of fruit tree?  The fruit is not available commercially and unless they grow in your area you may not have heard of them.

Even if they do grow wild in your area you may not have heard of them because they are unreliable pollinators and may not bear fruit.

The trees grow to about 20 feet, have a pyramidal shape and long, oval, drooping leaves that give them a tropical look.  In spring they get lovely maroon upside down flowers.

paw flower

Then in fall clusters of paw paw fruit develop and ripen.

good paw

Or so I’ve heard, I have never even seen a Paw Paw tree!

But I have read that the fruit is delicious.  It reportedly tastes like a cross between a mango and a banana and has a custard like consistency.  Someone described it as tasting like banana cream pie!


It has more Vitamin C, protein and antioxidants than other native fruits.

Enough said!  I MUST have one!

Or actually I must have two if I want proper pollination.

Next spring I am ordering myself 2 Paw Paw trees to plant in my garden!

When the fruit finally appears and ripens it will be  ……..



Oh the anticipation!

I can hardly stand it and I haven’t even planted them yet!

Some facts about the Paw Paw tree:

It has few insect pests because of  something in the leaves and twigs which are being studied for use as insecticides.

The Zebra Swallowtail caterpillar subsists on the leaves – Yay!  Another addition to my butterfly garden!

It has cancer fighting properties and is being studied for this.

A scientist in Kentucky is trying to get it cultivated as a commercial crop.  So is one in Ohio.

Many towns are named after it throughout the Midwest.

Although the Paw Paw tree has male and female parts it can’t pollinate itself, the female parts become non-receptive just as the male parts make pollen.  You need another unrelated Paw Paw tree to achieve pollination.  (you didn’t know this post was going to discuss sex did you?!)


Bees do not pollinate the flowers, flies and beetles do.  Some gardeners hang rotten meat in the branches during bloom time to attract flies.  I read that the blooms themselves smell like rotting meat!

I LOVE a challenge and I love something unusual, uncommon and out of the ordinary.  A couple of Paw Paw trees will be the perfect first fruit tree additions to our garden.

If you are inspired to grow a couple of your own be sure to buy container plants.  Grafted varieties will bear fruit sooner.  Plant in slightly acidic soil and add compost.  Plant in an area that gets full sun but protect the young trees from full sun the first couple of years.  Be sure to get two genetically unrelated trees and help pollinate using an artists brush to collect and deposit pollen.

Do a bit of reading up on this interesting tree and you will be hooked like I am.

Here are two articles to get you started:




Have you ever seen a Paw Paw tree or eaten it’s fruit?  Do you think it is something you might want to add to your garden?


11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: My Paw Paws Are Both Blooming! | ruthschickens
  2. Jana
    Jul 31, 2015 @ 14:45:44

    I have one thinking it got only bush size, not 20 feet tall! Oh, bother. Too close to house!



  3. Barbara Faust
    Oct 02, 2014 @ 14:57:27

    WOWED ME ONCE AGAIN with your ability to FIRST fire up my interest in subjects I’d normally NOT bother to research on my own. Then you wrap up by giving all the details I need to know to then go to a nursery and buy my own 2 UNRELATED Paw Paw trees. Last, just incase I still need more information, you give me other websites to go to get it. You hopefully are getting some monitory compensation for the time and effort you put into your blogs…

    Liked by 1 person


    • ruthschickensruthschickens
      Oct 02, 2014 @ 17:21:52

      Barb I am so glad you liked the post and blog. I guess the landscape will be changing in your neck of the woods if you plant a butterfly garden and Paw Paws! That will be great. No, I don’t get any moola for my blog – so far am just doing it for pleasure but perhaps that will change if I find the right sponsor or ads. I really appreciate your comments.



  4. Paul
    Oct 02, 2014 @ 13:36:42

    I know people, my wife among them, that love paw paw. For me, I can’t even stand the smell. It’s very similar to vomit! I know I’m not alone in disliking them. I’ve heard of them described as smelling like old socks. They are very popular in Asia so I came across them a lot there. They are also available in Australian supermarkets, though not all that common. Good luck growing them. I hope you are in the group that loves this tropical fruit. ; )



  5. John
    Oct 01, 2014 @ 23:54:37

    I’ve heard all about these! Sounds good!



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