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Melinda’s Garden Moment – PawPaw, North America’s largest edible native fruit

Posted at 5:55 PM, Sep 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-23 17:55:19-04

Add beauty and edibility to your landscape with North America’s largest native edible fruit, the pawpaw.

These 15 to 20’ tall trees start producing large fruit with a strong aroma, sweet, banana-like flavor and consistency of custard when six or seven years old.

Plant at least two different varieties to insure pollination and fruit formation. Here at the Boerner Botanical Gardens they’re growing two species and three pawpaw varieties in this planting.

Watch for the early spring dark purple flowers and the flies and beetles that pollinate them. Boerner credits their consistently large harvests to growing several varieties and the abundant pollinators in their garden.

Harvest the large fruit when they’re soft to the touch and separate easily from the tree. Use them as soon as possible as they only last a couple of days at room temperature and a week when refrigerated.

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