Dwarf Pawpaw - Small Fruit Pawpaw
Small Flower Pawpaw
Asimina parviflora - (Michaux) Denal
Annonaceae (Pawpaw) Family

The plant is an upright shrub that reaches a height of 4 to 6 feet. It's preferred habitat is rich alluvial woods, slopes and ravines and areas along stream banks that are slightly above the flood zone. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region except directly at seashore.

Fruit is a pear-like berry.

The leaves are alternate on the stem; large; oblong to oval, forms an angle to the left, tapering and pinched (often confused with the Common Persimmon). The leaf stalk is short and the leaf base is wedge-shaped.

Dwarf Pawpaw flowers are solitary along the branch; bisexual in nature; symmetrical in form; bell-shaped; three sepals and six petals that are reddish-brown to purple-brown or purple-green in color; numerous stamens. The flowers are small (usually no more than 1/2 inch broad or slightly less than the size of a penny). Flowers occur in the early spring.

Of interest: In September, edible sweet fruits ripen that resemble small, fat bananas. Some people may develop a dermatitis after handling the fruit. The trees are easily grown from seeds. The seeds contain an alkaloid that may cause depression if eaten. A. triloba (the larger tree form) may reach heights of 30 feet or more and the flower is about 1 to 1-1/2 inches broad.

Photo courtesy Keith Carter, Mobile, AL.

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