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Native Shrubs in Wildlife Landscaping

Pawpaw Pawpaw

Good Food and Low Cover

Pawpaw- Asimina triloba

Shrub or tree, 9 to 36 feet tall.

Smooth, gray, twigs with rusty hairs.

Deciduous, alternate, simple, smooth edged, obovate, 6 to 12 inches long, up to six inches wide, green in summer, dull yellow in autumn. Leaves fall early in autumn.

March to April. Axillary, 1 to 2 inches across, dull purple.

September to October. A pulpy berry, 1 ¼ to 6 inches long, 1 to 2 inches thick, sweet aromatic, edible, brown when ripe. Contains large flattened seeds.

WV 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 Wildlife Diversity Program.

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