Lewis and Clark might not have reached the mouth of
Columbia River and found success on their travels,
had it not been for
the supply of pawpaws given
to them by Native people which kept them
alive when their own food ran out.
The Paw Paw grows in many places, but is most prolific
East of the Mississippi in River
There are many varieties of this popular plant indigenous
to many geographical locations through out the country.
This fast growing tree has beautiful, delicate red flowers which
blossom into the delicacy that makes it so popular, the
which tastes like Mango, Custard and Banana, all in one.
It is said to be wonderful.
*There are some warnings connected to the pawpaw
Some people have had allergic reactions to the fruit.
Neither the seed, nor the skin of the fruit should be
and the leaves and bark can be irritating to the skin.*
Other uses for various parts of the Paw Paw are still in
and its potential medicinal properties are being studied.
There are several varieties of Paw Paws in Florida,
some are shrubs and some are trees.
In Central Florida, Paw Paws are pollinated by our
Native Zebra/Kite Swallowtail or pawpaw Butterfly.
After they pollinate the pawpaw, they leave behind
their eggs/larvae on the longleafed pawpaw,
which then in turn eat the leaves and the fruit.
All pawpaw leaves are pretty smelly, so not
too many animals want to eat them.
The fruit hanging on the tree is another story,
it is a race every year when they bloom,
to see who or what will get to them first,
either Man or Beast.
Keep this in mind if you are planning to put one in
And if, like us, you happen to have Gopher Tortoises on your
property, the pawpaw fruit is one of their favorite
The Paw Paws of Florida
The Beautiful Paw Paw - E Deeringothamnus
Four-Petal - E
carteri) possum pawpaw
The Four-Petal Paw Paw prefers being in
Sand Pine Scrub Ecosystem.
It is Endangered due to
from over development.
It is now found only in Palm Beach County,
protected in Dickinson State Park.
The Longleaved Paw Paw -
The Rugel's - E (1986)
This Paw Paw is a low shrub, about 4-8 inches tall
with fruit that is from 1-3 inches.
It is found near New Smyrna Beach in Volusia County.
Its loss of Habitat is caused as usual, by Construction.
It grows best in poorly drained Pine/Saw Flatwoods
The absence of fires results in the eventual death of the plant.