The Paw Paw is a true native American fruit tree indigenous to the entire eastern half of America, from Texas to the Great Lakes and down the east coast to Florida. The Paw Paw is rarely seen and hardly known by recent generations, but was a household name for the pre-baby boomer generations. Many old and now forgotten folk songs were sang praising the Paw Paw. Being the largest edible fruit native to America, the Paw Paw is worth singing about and has found some resurgent interest in the past 20 years.
The fruit starts out green and in the oblong shape of a mango. It grows 3-6 inches long and ripens into a golden-brown with black splotches. It ripens from mid-August to October and should be soft enough to come off the tree with a gentle squeeze. The ripe Paw Paw will have a pronounced perfumed fragrance. The highly nutritious flesh will have a consistency of custard and a unique flavor, resembling a vanilla banana blend. The Paw Paw tree requires two for good pollination and heavy fruit set. It also requires approximately 400 chill hours to set fruit. The Paw Paw tree is small and handsome addition to an edible landscape. The Paw Paw tree is an understory tree in the forest and prefers to be planted in partial sun. Willis Orchard Company offers this native American treasure in hopes that you may find a spot in your home garden to bring back the glory of this fine and delicious native fruit so that future generations may sing songs about "pickin' up paw paws puttin 'em in a basket."