Common Pawpaw

Asimina triloba


Other Names:
Pawpaw, Hoosier Banana, West Virginia Banana, Wild Banana, Quaker Delight, Hillbilly Mango

The Common Pawpaw is a small native deciduous tree found through much of Virginia. It produces the largest edible fruit from a native tree in the United States. However, neither flowers nor fruit have been seen on the pawpaw trees in Monticello Park. The fruits begin to ripen in the late summer and reach their peak in September and October; they can be found in some places along the C&O Canal Towpath in Maryland. The flavor has been compared to banana, with hints of vanilla, citrus, and mango. Common Pawpaw trees can grow to a height of 50 feet. Many of the common trees in our area grow to at least twice that height. Numerous species of pawpaws are in the genus Asimina, and the Zebra Swallowtail butterfly feeds exclusively on trees from this genus. It is possible that the pawpaw trees contain a chemical which the Zebra Swallowtail eats, thereby making it unpalatable for birds.

Identification Tools

National Park Service Missouri Botanical Garden Illinois Wildflowers Lady Bird Johnsn Wildflower Center VA Tech Dendrology NC State Extension NC Cooperative Extension Ohio DNR Division of Forestry


North America Virginia

Pawpaw flowers
Pawpaw flowers are a deep red, but some start out green

Pawpaw flowers
Pawpaw flowers and young leaves

Pawpaw flowers
Pawpaw flowers are easy to overlook, but are quite pretty when noticed.

Pawpaw flowers
A new green flower

Pawpaw flowers
A green flower turning red

Pawpaw flowers
A cluster of pawpaw fruit hanging beneath leaves

Return to the Index