Asimina triloba (L.) Dunal - PawPaw

Asimina triloba plant

Family - Annonaceae

Stems - No info. yet.

Asimina triloba barkBark of medium-aged tree.

Asimina triloba twigWinter twig.

Leaves - No info. yet.

Asimina triloba leaf

Asimina triloba budWinter bud.

Inflorescence - No info. yet.

Flowers - No info. yet.

Asimina triloba flowersYoung flowers.

Asimina triloba flowerMature flower (from below).

Flowering - March - May.

Habitat - Bottoms, along streams, ravines, base of bluffs, wet woods.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - This common tree can be found throughout most of Missouri in the habitats mentioned above. Although commonly seen as a small shrub, the plant is capable of growing into a tree some 15m tall. Here is an old picture of a tree:

Asimina triloba tree

A. triloba produces an edible fruit which tastes a little like a banana when ripe. The fruits are commonly eaten by wildlife and seldom harvested by humans. The seeds of the fruit contain alkaloids and are toxic. Crushed seeds were traditionally used as an insecticide by settlers. Ingested seeds have a calming effect. The leaves of the plant have the smell of roasted peppers or used motor oil and are insecticidal also. The bark of Asimina can be woven in to rope or made into clothing.
This species grows well from seed and can do well in a garden setting. It would make a good ornamental specimen.

Photographs taken at the Kansas City Zoo, 5-1-00, in Brown Summit, NC., 3-23-03, and at Whetstone Conservation Area, Callaway County, MO., 2-25-04.


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