Pawpaw - Asimina triloba

Native Shrubs ... in wildlife landscaping

West Virginia Native Plant Society
West Virginia Nongame Wildlife Program

  Form: Shrub or tree, 9 to 36 feet tall.
  Bark: Smooth, gray, twigs with rusty hairs.
  Leaves: Deciduous, alternate, simple, smooth edged, obviate, 6 to 12 inches long, up to six inches wide, green in summer, dull yellow in autumn. Leaves fall early in autumn.
  Flowers: March to April. Axillary, 1 to 2 inches across, dull purple.
  Fruit: September to October. A pulpy berry, 1-1/4 to 6 inches long, 1 to 2 inches thick, sweet aromatic, edible, brown when ripe. Contains large flattened seeds.
West Virginia Range:
All counties except the high elevations. Especially abundant in the Ohio and Potomac Valleys.
Natural Habitat:
Moist rich alluvial woods.
Wildlife Use:
Fruits eaten by raccoons and other mammals including opossums, squirrels, foxes and skunks.
Uses: Individual specimens or naturalizing along streams.
Light: Partial shade to full sun.
Soil Moisture: Moist.
Soil pH: Acid to neutral.
Problems: Difficult to transplant when large. Move when less than 6 feet tall. Suckers from the roots and may need to be controlled if used as a specimen plant.

Compiled by: Joseph Glencoe, Professor of Biology, West Virginia Wesleyan College, Buckhannon, West Virginia (now deceased)

Written by West Virginia Native Plant Society members and jointly published with the WV Nongame Program

Illustration from Flora of West Virginia, Strausbaugh and Core