Asimina triloba, or the pawpaw, is a member of the custard apple family, Annonaceae. Pawpaw is a deciduous tree that has a narrow, conical growing habit reaching heights between 12 and 20 feet. The leaves are dark green and oblong, extending up to 12 inches in length. The dark brown flower buds turn into maroon flowers that are about 2 inches across and upside down. Pawpaw fruits are the largest native edible fruit in the USA. The seeds are about a half inch to an inch and a half long and shaped similarly to lima beans. The fruits also typically grow in clusters of up to 9 individual pawpaws. The fruit is soft and the skin is thin when fully ripe. Young plants are very sensitive to full sunlight and will do best with filtered sun for the first few years but will love full sun when mature.
The large leaves of the Pawpaw also do not typically do well in windy areas. They do best in fertile soil that will stay moist but drains well. They also prefer a pH range between 5.0 and 7.0. Minimal pruning will be required to remove dead wood and damaged branches. Also, some periodic pruning may be good for fruit set since the fruits appear on new growth. Pawpaws are mostly disease free and have an innate resistance to Oak Root Fungus. They are not pollinated by bees, and instead rely on a series of flies and beetles, which can create an issue for home gardeners not getting proper fruit set. The easiest way to remedy the pollination issues is to hand pollinate using a soft artist's paintbrush to transfer the pollen from the flowers of one tree to the other.