Estimated Height at Pickup: 1-2’, 3 gal
A delicate tree that grows slowly. It has a shelving habit in the shade but develops faster and fuller in sun. Produces large, sweet fleshed fruit of the same name, colloquially called 'Indiana Bananas'. It is a member of the largely tropical 'Custard Apple' family, as evidenced by the pawpaw’s conspicuously large leaves.
It is the only native host plant for zebra swallowtail butterflies and pawpaw sphinx moths!
Pollination: 2+ individuals needed.
Light: Sun, Part Sun/Shade, Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet, Medium Wet, Medium
Soil Type: Loam, Sandy Loam
Bloom Color: Red
Bloom Time: Apr-May
Fruit: Large greenish fruits mature Aug- Sep.
Fall Color: Yellow
Root Type: Taproot
Notable Wildlife Interactions: Flowers are visited by a small number of flies. Hosts the zebra swallowtail butterfly and the pawpaw sphinx moth. Fruits are sought after by many animals including foxes, skunks, raccoons, opossums, squirrels, and box turtles. Foliage is toxic and avoided by mammals.
Notes: Plants are long lived, though individual sprouts are relatively short lived and individuals persist by sending up fresh suckers. Suckers of the same plant cannot pollinate each other- two genetically distinct individuals are needed in close proximity (~20ft recommended if possible). Natural pollination is hit and miss, and flowers should be pollinated by hand if maximum fruit is desired. Trees take 4-6 years to fruit. Fruit pulp was used historically in yellow dyes. Generally deer resistant.