Asimina triloba
Common name: 
Common Pawpaw
Custard Apple
a-SIM-i-na tri-LO-ba
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Broadleaf deciduous shrubs or more commonly small trees, 15-20 ft (4.5-6 m) tall, but may reach twice that under favorable conditions.  Leaves alternate, simple, obovate-oblong, 15-30 cm long, short acuminate tip, the base gradually narrowing into a petiole, margin entire, medium to dark green, upper surface glabrous at maturity, pubescence on veins below; unpleasant odor when crushed; yellow fall color.   Flowers pallid purple, 4-5 cm across, on about 1 cm stalks, sepals greenish pubescent on outside, outer petals broad-ovate, rounded, later reflexed, inner petals smaller and pointed.  Fruit shape variable, rounded, ellipsoid to oblong, 5-12 cm long, greenish yellow, finally brown, edible, banana-pear flavored with a consistency of custard; contains 2-3 brown, flattened seeds, each 2-2.5 cm long.
  • Sun or shade, best in moist, fertile, deep, slightly acidic soil.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 5  The most cold hardy of the Asimina species.       Native range extends from Ontario, north of Lake Erie, New York to Florida, and east to Nebraska and Texas.  Once common in the Mississippi valley and the first written reference to the tree and its fruit is in the chronicles of Hernando de Soto's expedition in the area in 1541.  Commercial production of Pawpaw fruit is small but increasing.  A number of cultivars are available.  Early ripening Pawpaw selections are most suitable for low heat unit areas such as western Oregon, where cool nights repress ripening.  Such selections as PA-Golden, KSU-Benson, Shenandoah, and Sunflower are recommended. 
  • triloba: refers to the 3-lobed calyx.
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit

    plant habit

  • plant habit, row of trees

    plant habit, row of trees

  • foliage


  • leaves


  • flowers


  • developing fruit and leaves

    developing fruit and leaves

  • plant habit, fall

    plant habit, fall

  • leaves, fall

    leaves, fall

  • ripening fruit

    ripening fruit

  • dormant twig and buds

    dormant twig and buds

  • fruit