Asimina triloba

Featured Plant Category: Edible Native Plants, Shade Tolerant

Height: 15 to 30'

Container Size: 1 Gallon

Bloom Time: April to May

Bloom Color: Maroon

Soil Moisture: Medium

Soil Type: Medium to wet, well drained; can tolerate wet soil. Prefers moist, acid, fertile soils.

Light Requirements: Part Shade to Full Sun

Hardiness Zone: 5,6,7,8,9

Other Names: papaw, paw paw, paw-paw, custard apple, wild banana

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Paw-paw is an all-around unique native plant, being the northernmost member of a mainly tropical family of trees. This understory tree naturally occurs in wooded slopes and ravines, but can flourish in your yard if planted in the right spot. Trees often spread by suckers creating a Paw Paw thicket. Paw paw is unusual in that its small maroon colored flowers are actually pollinated by flies, rather than traditional pollinators. For best fruit production, plant multiple trees to ensure lots of cross-pollination. Paw-paw’s leaves contain a bitter natural insecticide, leaving it untouched by browsing animals like rabbit or deer. Its seeds are spread by a variety of different animals, such as red foxes, squirrels, and even box turtles.

Paw-paw has the largest edible fruit indigenous to the United States. Its flavor falls somewhere between banana and mango, and can be used in a multitude of ways. Some towns even have a “paw-paw festival”, where people can celebrate this unique fruit by showing off their latest recipes – such as paw-paw ice cream or paw-paw beer.

Paw-paw is the exclusive host to both the exotic Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly and the Pawpaw Sphinx Moth (both pictured above), making it an important part of the ecosystem.


Additional information


15 to 30'

Container Size

1 Gallon

Bloom Time

April to May

Bloom Color


Soil Moisture


Soil Type

Medium to wet, well drained; can tolerate wet soil. Prefers moist, acid, fertile soils.

Light Requirements

Part Shade to Full Sun

Hardiness Zone


Other Names

papaw, paw paw, paw-paw, custard apple, wild banana

Shipping Information

Plant Shipping Carton

At Direct Native Plants, we take many precautions to make sure your plants will arrive in the best condition possible.

Our perennials are grown in a 4” quart-sized pot. These plants are then cut back to fit our packaging, placed in a protective clamshell container (made from recycled materials), and then shipped to you in a cardboard box.

Trees and shrubs are grown in a 7” tall container (referred to as a 1-gallon pot), and depending on the species will be between 12” and 36”. We bag the root section of these plants to prevent them from drying out in transit and ship them in a tall cardboard box. PLEASE NOTE: These boxes can be shipped in bundles up to 6. After that we start a new package, so keep this in mind if you’re trying to get the best shipping rates.

Direct Native Plants supports the United States Postal Service, so your plants will ship via USPS Priority Mail. Orders ship out Monday through Wednesday of each week, and depending on how close you are to our nursery in Maryland, shipping will take anywhere from 1-4 business days.

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