Asimina triloba

paw paw

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © - Krzysztof Ziarnek

Outstanding Qualities

This striking deciduous, multi-stemmed tree can add a unique tropical feel to the garden. Native to the forests of eastern North America, pawpaw gives a lush show with its large dark-green bold leaves which hang dramatically from an open branch structure. Before the leaves emerge in spring, unusual small chocolate purple trillium shaped flowers dot the branches.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: upright tree

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 15 ft. 0 in. (4.57 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 15 ft. 0 in. (4.57 meters)

Plant Height-Mature: 25 ft. 0 in. (7.62 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 25 ft. 0 in. (7.62 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 5 to 9

Flower Color: purple

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun or light shade

Water Requirements: regular watering

Seasonal Interest: late summer-fall edible fruit and foliage color

Resistant to: deer

Colors & Combos

Great Plant Combinations: Amsonia hubrichtii, Salix purpurea ‘Nana’, Sambucus nigra ‘Laciniata’, Cryptomeria japonica Elegans Group, Spiraea thunbergii ‘Ogon’

Great Color Contrasts: chartreuse, burgundy, white

Great Color Partners: blue, green

Culture Notes
Plant pawpaw in full sun or light shade. A hot spot or a site with reflected heat helps to fully ripen the fruit in the Northwest. It will tolerate a restricted root zone and would do well in a large container as a patio plant. This small tree prefers rich well-drained soil with regular watering during dry periods. Pawpaw has no insect or disease pests and requires very little pruning. Dead, broken or poorly formed branches can be pruned out during winter.