Asimina triloba

Common Pawpaw, Custard Apple




  • native to new York down through Florida across through Nebraska
  • hardy to zone 5

Habit and Form

  • a deciduous small tree or large shrub
  • multi-stemmed
  • spreading branches form a rounded crown
  • 15' to 20' tall and equally as wide
  • suckers
  • medium growth rate
  • medium texture

Summer Foliage

  • alternate leaf arrangement
  • simple, deciduous leaves
  • 6" to 12" long, 3" to 6" wide
  • entire leaf margins
  • pubescent underside
  • dark green leaf color

Autumn Foliage

  • yellow fall color


  • purple flowers
  • 1" to 2" in diameter
  • blooms in early May
  • somewhat showy


  • greenish-yellow berry, turning black
  • edible
  • 2" to 5" long
  • taste like bananas
  • edible


  • dark brown
  • rough and scaly
  • fecal odor


  • transplant from containers
  • prefers moist, fertile slightly acidic soils
  • full sun
  • prune tolerant

Landscape Uses

  • naturalized areas
  • for fruit
  • street tree


  • no serious pest problems
  • fruit can be a litter problem
  • hard to transplant

ID Features

  • naked terminal buds, 0.33" to 0.5' long
  • buds are pubescent
  • naked superposed flower buds
  • alternate leaf arrangement
  • large fruit that taste like bananas
  • fecal odor to broken branch
  • suckers


  • by seed
  • by bud graft


Many cultivars have been selected for improved fruit traits. Most are not readily available, but two varieties offered occasionally by specialty New England nurseries are 'Sunflower' and 'Overleese'. These cultivars are notable for large, heavy fruits.

© Copyright Mark H. Brand, 1997-2015.

The digital materials (images and text) available from the UConn Plant Database are protected by copyright. Public use via the Internet for non-profit and educational purposes is permitted. Use of the materials for profit is prohibited.

Citation and Acknowledgements: University of Connecticut Plant Database,, Mark H. Brand, Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, Storrs, CT 06269-4067 USA.