How big is a pawpaw tree

Pawpaw | Department of Horticulture

Pawpaw grows in thickets in the forest understory and along woodland edges. It is the native plant that produces the largest berry in North America. The Kentucky champion tree is in Letcher County and is over 30 feet tall.  

Introduction: Pawpaw, found from New York to Florida and west to Texas, has a semi-tropical appearance and is known for its fruit, the largest berry (up to 5 inches long) produced by any tree native to the United States. The fruit is nutritious and has been used in cancer therapy. Its twigs and bark contain a natural insecticide.


Culture: Pawpaw prefers fertile, moist soil that is slightly acidic, and will sometimes tolerate wet soil. It can be grown in sun or shade, exhibiting dense growth in sun and open growth in shade. Pawpaw grows quickly if mulched and watered during droughts; it is drought-sensitive when grown in sun. Seedlings should be planted in shade for the first year as they are sensitive to ultraviolet light. Pawpaw is pest-free and hardy in zones 5 through 8. It can be trained to grow with multiple trunks and its limbs are break-resistant. Some pruning is needed to create clearance because of drooping branches. Mowing or pruning the suckers that emerge from the root system encourages sprouting, so they should be hand-pulled while still small.



Botanical Information

  • Native habitat: Northern Florida to Western New York, northern shores of Lake Ontario, Southern Michigan to Southwestern Iowa, and west to Southeastern Nebraska, and eastern parts of Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.
  • Growth habit: Round, upright pyramid, with moderate density and coarse texture. Tree size: 15 to 20 feet tall, 15 to 20 feet wide; can grow to 30 to 40 feet tall in ideal locations. Growth rate is moderate.
  • Flower and fruit: Flowers are nearly 2 inches across, pale green before turning brown, then maroon or purple. Pawpaw blooms in spring before leafout. Fruit is a 3- to 5-inch-long berry that is green when young then becomes dark and wrinkled when ripe in October or November. Ripe fruit has a flesh like custard and tastes a lot like bananas.
  • Leaf: Alternate, simple, 4 to 10 inches long and 4 to 6 inches wide. Light green, turning yellow in fall. Hardiness: Winter hardy to USDA Zone 5.


Selected cultivars:

There are at least 45 cultivars of pawpaw selected for their fruit characteristics. The national germplasm repository for pawpaw is at Kentucky State University in Frankfort, KY. Selected cultivars include:

  • ‘Convis' - Large (up to 1 pound) fruits with yellow flesh. ‘Davis' - An older, popular plant from Michigan introduced in 1961. The fruit are less than ½-pound with yellow flesh.
  • ‘Overleese' - Heavy producing plant with clusters of 1-pound fruits. Selected in Indiana.
  • ‘Sunflower' - Produces 8-ounce fruit with a butter-yellow flesh. Said to be self-fertile. Selected in Kansas.
  • ‘Wells' - This cultivar has fruit with green skin and orange flesh. Fruit are a little less than a pound. Collected in Indiana.


Additional information:

There has been great demand for pawpaw recently, not only because of its appealing ornamental characteristics and tastyfruit, but also because of its potential as a source of organic insecticide and for use in cancer therapy. An insecticide can be made from the tree's ground-up bark and twigs. Extract from pawpaw can overcome the ability of some cancer cells to reject chemotherapy.

On dormant stems, pointed buds are vegetative while flower buds are round and fuzzy. Cross-pollination is needed to get good fruit set in pawpaw. Pawpaw fruit develops in clusters. Fruit with orange flesh is considered the tastiest. The fruit attracts wildlife (especially raccoons, opossums, gray squirrels and birds). It also attracts the beautiful zebra swallowtail butterfly, giving added incentive for wildlife lovers to obtain the tree. It is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, and is high in unsaturated fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Pawpaws contain more potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and sulfur than apples, grapes or peaches.

The first reference to pawpaw came in writings of Hernando DeSoto's expedition to the Mississippi Valley in 1541. The fruit, a favorite food of American Indians, was used to feed DeSoto's conquistadors. Early North American settlers used the fruit to make jelly, and the tree's inner bark to string fish. Indians in Louisiana used the inner bark to weave a fiber cloth.

Although pawpaw is in great demand, it does have a disadvantage. Its fruit and foliage produce a great deal of litter. Planting only one tree can help alleviate the problem, as lack of cross-pollination leads to production of less fruit. Because they are broader at the tip than at the base the leaves droop, giving pawpaw a "sleepy" or tropical appearance.

The genus Asimina includes the only temperate members of this family. The tree, which is hard to transplant because of its wide root system, should be balled-and-burlapped and moved when it is less than 6 feet tall.



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How to Grow and Care for Pawpaw Trees

The pawpaw is a small, deciduous tree that yields the largest fruit native to North America. It’s part of the Annonaceae family, which is the largest family of the magnolia order and features mainly tropical plants. However, Asimina triloba is native to the eastern United States; it’s found in 26 states, with the exception of Florida and most northeastern states.

Pawpaw trees can grow to a height of about 25 feet and feature maroon-colored blossoms with 6 petals in spring. When grown in shady and protected areas of established forests, they only get to be 2 to 12 feet tall. The leaves are dark green, shiny, and oval-shaped with pointy ends. They can grow up to 12 inches in length. In the fall, the foliage turns varying shades of yellow.

These trees are famous for their fruit, which ripens in fall. The paw paw fruit is frequently described as custard-like with a flavor that is a cross between a banana and a mango (though some think it tastes plainer, more like a raw potato). Take note that while the fruit is edible, you should never eat the skin or seeds of this fruit. Pawpaw contains annonacin, which is toxic to nerve cells.

 Common Name  Pawpaw, paw paw
 Botanical Name  Asimina triloba
 Family  Annonaceae
 Plant Type  Tree
 Mature Size  15-25 ft. tall, 15 ft. wide
 Sun Exposure  Full, partial
 Soil Type  Moist but well-drained
 Soil pH  Acidic, neutral
 Bloom Time  Spring
 Flower Color  Purple
 Hardiness Zones  5-8, USA
 Native Area  North America
 Toxicity  Toxic to humans

Pawpaw Care

With basic knowledge about the growing requirements, the paw paw tree can successfully be grown as a tropical-looking addition to your garden or for its delicious fruit. Paw paw trees require adequate irrigation but must be in well-draining soil conditions to prevent root rot and fungus. Be sure to protect young trees from too much sun exposure and wind.

These trees have a suckering habit and will grow into a stand of paw paw trees. However, If you’re hoping to yield fruit from a paw paw tree, be sure to plant several genetically different trees in close proximity.


In its natural habitat, the pawpaw tree is found in the understory of forests. As a result, these trees flourish in partial shade. Young trees especially benefit from shady conditions, as bright, direct sunlight can scorch the leaves. Upon maturing, pawpaw trees can be grown in full sun conditions, which is often the case when planted in orchards. These trees will have a more pyramid-like shape, while pawpaws in shade have spreading branches and fewer lower limbs.


Soil conditions for the pawpaw must be rich and well-draining. For nutrient-poor soil, add compost to boost soil quality. The pawpaw can grow in heavy, clay soil but only if there is sufficient drainage. Slightly acidic to neutral soil pH levels are best for this tree.


Young pawpaw trees will require regular watering. However, it’s important to ensure that the soil is draining efficiently and you don’t allow this tree to become waterlogged. Mature, established pawpaw trees near a water source or that receive regular rainfall generally require very little supplemental water. Pawpaw trees planted in an orchard or in a full sun location in your yard may benefit from additional irrigation to prevent dry soil conditions.

Temperature and Humidity

A cold-hardy fruit tree, the paw paw is hardy to USDA zone 5 and can withstand temperatures of -20 degrees Fahrenheit. At the same time, the warm, humid summers of its native habitat provide this tree with the right conditions for growth and fruit production.

You’ll be most successful in growing the paw paw tree if your climate provides the seasonal swing that these trees are accustomed to since the dormancy of winter prepares the tree for a productive growing season.


Nutrient-rich soil is important for healthy growth and fruit production, so it’s generally recommended to fertilize paw paw trees at least twice a year, once in spring and again in early summer. You can use a well-balanced fertilizer, like a 10-10-10 formula, applied with granules or in a liquid formula. However, your best option may be to add organic matter to the soil using compost, fish emulsion, manure, or a combination of all three.

The Spruce / Adrienne Legault

Propagating Pawpaw Trees

Pawpaw trees can be propagated by grafting and cuttings. Many nurseries graft scions taken from dormant trees that are at least a few years old. The scions are grafted onto pawpaw rootstock. This method yields good success but is a more advanced method of propagation.

Propagation by cuttings is also possible for paw paw trees but has a high failure rate. It's not considered the most surefire way to propagate these trees.

Generally, propagation by seed is the most successful way to start pawpaw trees.

How to Grow Paw Paw From Seed

Growing paw paw from seed is typically the easiest way to start these trees. A simple route is to plant an entire paw paw fruit in the ground in fall. It will often send up shoots during the next spring season.

But if you want to enjoy the tasty fruit rather than plant it in the ground, you can harvest the seeds from the paw paw fruit and sow them in the ground. Follow these steps to grow paw paw trees from seed:

  1. Scoop out the seeds from a ripe paw paw fruit.
  2. Next, scarify the seeds. This involves scratching the shell of the seed but not the seed itself. Use sandpaper or a file.
  3. In fall, you can direct sow the seeds outside where they’ll naturally stratify over the winter and sprout the following summer. Alternatively, you can stratify the seeds indoors by placing them in a cold location for 90 to 120 days. If you choose indoor stratification, Perdue University recommends placing the seeds inside a plastic bag with moistened sphagnum moss to prevent the growth of mold.
  4. Plant seeds once the soil temperature is between 75 and 85 degrees.

The Spruce / Adrienne Legault


Paw paw trees are no stranger to winter weather and the cold season provides a period of dormancy necessary for fruit production in the following year. Since these trees are hardy to -20 degrees Fahrenheit, there is usually no additional care required for successful overwintering mature paw paw trees. There’s no need to water during the tree’s dormancy.

However, a young paw paw tree in a pot should only be planted in spring. To overwinter a young tree successfully, place it in a sheltered location where temperatures will remain above freezing.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases

Relatively hardy and pest-free, the occasional fungal diseases like powdery mildew or black spot may affect paw paw trees that experience high humidity or very damp conditions. In the case of black spot, the fruit is still edible and it’s only an aesthetic issue.

The pawpaw peduncle borer (Talponia plummeriana) occasionally invades trees and causes the blossoms to drop prematurely, affecting fruit yield significantly. In addition, the larvae of Zebra Swallowtail butterflies feed on the leaves of the paw paw tree, but it rarely causes a serious threat to the health of the tree.

Common Problems With Paw Paw Trees

Paw paw trees experience relatively few issues and are hardy enough to grow unattended in the wild. However, when planted in your yard or garden, you may encounter several problems. Moisture management is one of the key problems that growers encounter, since these trees like moist but well-draining conditions. In addition, the paw paw is not a self-pollinating tree and lacks abundant natural pollinators, causing issues with fruit production.

Yellowing leaves

This is a sign of overwatering or poor draining soil. Check the soil to ensure that it’s well-draining. You may need to add compost or peat moss to improve drainage. If overwatering is the problem, withhold water to allow the soil to dry out. Be sure to only water once or twice a week, depending on temperature and humidity conditions.

Lack of fruit production

Even if you have genetically varied trees planted near each other, it can be hard to attract pollinators to paw paw trees. As a result, the flowers may not become pollinated and consequently fail to bear fruit. To solve this problem, one suggestion is to use pollinate paw paw trees by hand. Find the male flowers, which will be wide open and deep maroon color. The stamen will be visible and should be covered with pollen. Place a small plastic bag underneath the bloom and gently tap the back of the blossom to drop pollen into the bag.

Right away, find a female blossom on another paw paw tree. Mature female blossoms will also be maroon, but may still be partly green and will always be only partially open. Gently open the blossom with your fingers enough to reach the paintbrush inside. Then, after dusting the paintbrush with harvested pollen, dab the stigma inside the flower.


  • Yes, paw paw trees are generally not self-pollinating and at least two trees are required for fruit production in most cases. However, the trees must be genetically different from each other to pollinate. In other words, you can’t plant one paw paw tree and expect the offshoot trees that may grow from the tree’s suckers to cross-pollinate.

  • It depends on whether the tree was grafted or grown from seed. Grafted paw paw trees, like those you may buy from a nursery, will usually bear fruit in 3 to 4 years. For paw paw trees grown from seed, expect to wait 5 to 8 years for fruit production.

  • The bark, twigs, leaves and blossoms of paw paw trees have a perceptible odor. In the case of the blossoms, the odor is faint and may not be noticeable unless you intentionally take a whiff. The leaves will emit an odor when crushed or torn. The scent depends on the variety of the tree and is also subjective. Some people describe it as similar to rotting meat, while others say it smells like bell pepper or even yeasty bread.

Article Sources

The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Memorial Sloan Cancer center. “American Pawpaw.” Mskcc.Org.

  2. Purdue.Edu.

Papaya - calories, useful properties, benefits and harms, description 48

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Papaya is the fruit of a tree of the family Caricaceae , known as melon or bread . Papaya fruits are large, some weigh up to 4-5 kg, papaya resembles an elongated oval melon in shape with a thinning towards the end, like a pear, some varieties are spherical in shape. The fruits are green, yellow and reddish, most often amber. Inside the fruit is a bright orange dense pulp and a large number of small black seeds. The taste of papaya is described in many ways, it is similar to pumpkin, melon, apricot and carrot, juicy and quite sweet.

Papaya originates from Central America where it has been known and used for a long time. Now the tree grows almost everywhere in the tropics, the main supplier of papaya to the world market is India.

Papaya calories

Papaya has 48 calories per 100 grams of product.

Composition and beneficial properties of papaya

Papaya contains a lot of fiber, which has a beneficial effect on the activity of the gastrointestinal tract. Natural Enzyme papain , found in large quantities in papaya, promotes the breakdown of protein, indispensable for those who do not have enough of their own enzymes and therefore it is difficult to digest protein foods. The juicy pulp of papaya is rich in vitamins and minerals, the main of which - potassium and magnesium - are necessary for the prevention of the occurrence of diseases of the cardiovascular system. Low calorie content, pleasant taste and the ability to dissolve proteins make papaya an excellent option for diet food, the fruit gives a feeling of satiety for a long time. Papaya juice is part of medical preparations intended for the treatment of intervertebral hernia and joint diseases.

Harm of papaya

In rare cases, there is an individual intolerance to the product, papaya is considered a fruit, the use of which can cause allergic reactions. Unripe fruits contain the poisonous substance caripain , an alkaloid that causes skin irritation and poisoning.

Papaya in cooking

It is healthier and tastier to use fresh papaya, as an ingredient in fruit salad or supplemented with unsalted fresh cheeses, cottage cheese. Papaya can be added to vegetable stew with zucchini and pumpkin, the dish will be an excellent side dish for fatty meat. Any meat can be marinated in papaya juice, or finely chopped fruit can be added to the usual marinade. Papaya is dried, for this, the fruit is peeled from seeds and peel, cut into slices and sent to an oven preheated to 60 ° C for an hour and a half.

Selection and storage of papaya

Papaya is best consumed where it grows and ripens, that is, in countries with a tropical climate. In the middle lane, when purchasing papaya fruits, you need to visually inspect the fruit for signs of impact, other damage, rot and mold. A completely green and hard fruit is unripe, it will not “reach” at home, therefore it is only suitable for stewing. A ripe papaya is quite firm, but not stoney, and there should be obvious yellow, orange or red spots on the sides, which indicate the ripeness of the fruit.

You can store papaya for several days at room temperature, after the fruit has been cut, you need to place it in the refrigerator, in a tightly closed container.

For more information about papaya, see the video "Nutritionist Tatyana Gartsman on the benefits of exotic papaya. "

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Papaya - useful properties and much more

Papaya is familiar to many of you. Those who have visited Thailand at least once know that Thais eat papaya always and everywhere. Favorite
and the popular Thai salad Som Tam, made from green papaya.
How to peel papaya? What are the health benefits of papaya? Why can even babies eat it?
What are the varieties of papaya, how papaya is used in medicine and much more.

Papaya useful tropical fruit


Let's start with the fact that papaya is a berry. Papaya trees can be female and male.
Male trees only pollinate flowers, while female trees bear fruit. Sometimes, very rarely, it happens like this,
that the "men" trees also produce papaya fruits that grow in a completely different way, not in a bunch, but in a chain.

Papaya grows very fast. By planting a papaya tree in your yard, you can harvest the crop in six months.

Papaya fruits come in a wide variety of sizes. But on average, one papaya will weigh from 700g to 1.5-2 kg.
Since there are many varieties of papaya, fruits of 5.7 kg each come across.

In Thailand, papaya is sold all over the place, most often sold at a price per piece, but
in shops like Tesco or Macro by weight.
Papaya in Thailand can be bought all year round, at a price of 20 to 70 baht per piece, depending on the weight of the fruit and the season.

prices for papaya in Thailand at the central festival

How to choose papaya?

Ripe papaya firm, slightly soft when pressed, orange-yellow, with splashes of green.

Take a medium-sized papaya, then the fruit will be sweet and healthy.

When inspected prior to purchase, the papaya should be free from dents, rot, and be smooth, firm to the touch, and appear "healthy".

Useful properties of papaya

I was very surprised when I found out how useful papaya is.

Firstly, 100 grams of papaya contains only 39 kcal.
So, papaya is great for those who are going to lose extra pounds and build up.

Papaya contains a huge amount of vitamins, minerals and beneficial enzymes.

Papaya contains fructose and glucose, a group of B vitamins that is responsible for our productivity, mood, and fatigue.
Papaya contains fiber, proteins and carotene.
Papaya is rich in magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, sodium and iron.

Papaya contains very useful substances - papayin and papaiotin.
It is they who help with obesity - papayin and papaiotin are similar in composition to gastric juice, break down proteins, and also contribute to the breakdown of fats.
It is known that the use of papaya constantly helps with stomach ulcers.

Since we started talking about how papaya helps with ailments, let's dwell on this in more detail.

Papaya - medical use

Substances are extracted from papaya fruits, which later
become preparations for the treatment of herpes.

Papaya helps with thrombosis, gastritis, improves digestion. Papaya is highly recommended for those who have
problems with the gastrointestinal tract.

papaya on the market in Pattaya

This fruit normalizes the liver, lowers blood sugar.

In the tropics, papaya is also known as a reliable anti-parasitic agent.

Papaya in cosmetology

Papaya is also used externally. Girls with cut papaya reduce freckles and age spots
(just wipe the face with the pulp).
Tropical ladies know that the milky juice found in the fruits, leaves and roots of papaya
destroys keratin. That is, if you wipe with the pulp after shaving, unwanted hair grows very slowly,
weak and sparse.

Externally papaya is used for eczema, burns, skin diseases.

Papaya how to eat?

After choosing and buying a papaya, you need to wash it and cut it in half.

Peel papaya with a spoon, peel off the skin and cut into slices or cubes.

Peeled papaya can be eaten with just a spoon. Papaya is the melon tree. They are similar in taste too.

Fruit can be stored in the refrigerator for about a week.

Papaya can also be dried or baked in the oven, used as a side dish for meat, made into fruit salads, candied fruits,

Which variety of papaya tastes better

There is no variety of papaya varieties in Thailand.

The best-selling variety here is Dutch. As in the photo above - orange peel with greenish or pink barrels.
Also a Dutch variety called California.

Thai papaya tastes like melon and boiled carrot at the same time. I can’t say that I am her fan,
but in a salad, or as candied fruit, it is delicious.

The most delicious papaya grows in India and the Philippines.

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