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pawpaws on the tree

Pawpaw (aka Asimina triloba): an Exotic Native Fruit

The pawpaw is the largest edible fruit native to the United States. It grows all over the central and eastern United States, but pawpaw fruit isn’t easy to come by. First of all, they need to be dead ripe to be delicious. That means soft, squishy, and not well suited to shipping long distances. You may find them at farmers’ markets or pawpaw festivals (yes, there are pawpaw festivals), but don’t count on it. People don’t like to part with their hard-won pawpaws. In the wild you’ll often find pawpaw trees but no fruit. That’s because humans aren’t the only animals who love pawpaws. Also, pawpaw flowers can’t self-pollinate, which cuts down on naturally occurring fruit. Read more