Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Asimina triloba (L.) Dunal
- Family: Custard Apple (Annonaceae)
- Flowering: March-May
- Field Marks: This species is distinguished by its large, toothless, alternate leaves, its 9-parted
maroon flowers, and its fleshy fruits.
- Habitat: Slopes, low woods, stream and river bottoms, damp thickets.
- Habit: Tree up to 40 feet tall; trunk diameter up to 10 inches; crown broad and spreading.
- Bark: Dark brown, thin, smooth to shallowly fissured.
- Twigs: Slender, smooth, gray at maturity, but rusty-hairy when young.
- Buds: Narrow, dark rusty-brown.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, broadly elliptic, pointed at the tip, narrowed to the base, without
teeth, rusty-hairy when young, but becoming smooth, paler on the lower surface, up to 12 inches
long, up to 6 inches wide.
- Flowers: Borne singly when the leaves begin to unfold, up to 1 1/2 inches across.
- Sepals: 3, wrinkled, leathery, deep maroon.
- Petals: 6, wrinkled, leathery, deep maroon.
- Stamens: Numerous.
- Pistils: Ovaries several.
- Fruits: Fleshy, oblong, thick, up to 6 inches long, greenish yellow, with several dark brown
- Notes: The fruit is edible. Pawpaws often grow in thickets because of the development of root
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