The Pawpaw tree is one of the most interesting trees to know about. Although if you’re in the US you probably know about the pawpaw as it is native to the country, many people outside of the US haven’t tried and, and many people haven’t even heard of them! So, let’s look at some facts about the Pawpaw tree and the fruit that it bears.
Pawpaw Tree Facts
- The Pawpaw is actually the largest fruit that is grown native to North America.
- It is found all across the United States, from New York all the way down to Texas.
- The Pawpaw is a semi tropical tree, and can grow in both sunlight and in shade.
- However, seedlings of the Pawpaw should be grown in shade for the first year. They are very sensitive to UV light.
- The first writings that we have of the Pawpaw tree are from 1541, where Spanish encountered Native Americans growing the tree near the Mississippi river.
- There are more than 50 different cultivars of Pawpaw, with horticulturists breeding new ones regularly.
- Pawpaw trees can grow quite large, with some of the largest Pawpaw’s being in excess of 40 feet!
- The Pawpaw fruit has a similar taste to banana (kind of creamy and custard-y!).
- People often eat the fruit of the Pawpaw tree raw, but it can also be used to make sweet treats like ice cream, jelly and jam.
- It’s thought that the Pawpaw was a favorite dessert of the first president of the United States, George Washington.
Common Questions about Pawpaws
Are Pawpaws and Papayas the same?
Because of their similarity in name, many people wonder whether pawpaws and papaya fruit are the same. The simple answer is that no, they’re not. Whilst papayas are sweeter in taste, the pawpaw has a more subtle flavour to it. As well as this, papaya fruit has a more oval shape to it, whereas generally pawpaws are more spherical shaped.
What is Pawpaw good for?
Pawpaws are known for their nutritious flesh. We know that the pawpaw fruit is full of goodness, being high in vitamins A, vitamin C, magnesium, iron and manganese. The pawpaw can help with weight loss, lowering cholesterol, improve your digestion and a whole host of other things too.
Where do Pawpaw trees grow?
The Pawpaw tree is actually native to the United States. Although you might think it only grows in the South of the country, you can grow pawpaws in colder conditions too, with some even being grown in Canada.
How big do pawpaw trees get?
The average pawpaw tree will be anywhere between 15-25 feet tall. However, there are certain species of the pawpaw which will grow smaller than this, and there are some pawpaws that can actually grow to more than 40 feet tall.
When and where should I plant my pawpaw tree?
If you’re looking to grow your own pawpaw tree, then it’s important that you know what environment the pawpaw likes. Pawpaws are best growing in a moist, fertile soil that is neutral or even slightly acidic. It’s best to grow them in the shade initially, even if you’re in a hotter climate. If you want your pawpaw to produce fruit, then you will need 2 different trees, and they do not self pollinate.
The Pawpaw is native to America, and it can be found all over the United States, although less so in the North East in recent years. They are very common all over the country, and you can find them as West as Texas – they are grown in California, but the climatic conditions can make this a little difficult.