Unique Pawpaw trees are native to our area

Most people don't know it, but there is a unique tropical tree that is native to most of the eastern United States.  The Pawpaw tree is a member of the tropical tree family and usually only grows to about 25 feet tall.  There are a lot of attributes that make it a great tree for you to consider planting during the dormant season.

The Pawpaw tree is considered a host plant to the zebra swallowtail butterfly, and while these butterflies like the tree, they won't cause much damage.  If you live in an area with a high deer population, a Pawpaw tree could keep them at bay as deer don't like to eat Pawpaw.

The fruit of the Pawpaw is said to taste like a cross between a mango and a banana.  When the fruit is ripe, it will feel soft when squeezed, and will have big black seeds and yellow flesh inside the peel.  You'll want to peel the skin and remove the seeds before eating it.

If you're looking to plant a Pawpaw, do so during the dormant season from November to March.  They can grow in wet and low lying areas, and will eventually make a colony of more Pawpaw trees around them.  When you plant them, you'll want to have them in the shade, but once they're established, they can tolerate a good bit of sunshine.  Good luck, and enjoy these unique tropical plants in our area.

Have a gardening question?  Use the form below to ask the folks at Bennett Nurseries.  We may feature this in an upcoming Garden Tips segment!