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Dwarf Pawpaw, Small-flowered Pawpaw, Small-fruited Pawpaw, Small Custard-apple, Custard-banana
Asimina parviflora


Dwarf pawpaw is a 3 to 8 foot shrub that never gets as tall as its big sibling, A. triloba. It has large, leathery, dark green leaves 4-8 inches long, with a rusty pubescence underneath. The stems and branches also have these soft rust-colored hairs. The small, solitary, green to purplish-brown bell-shaped flowers appear in spring with the leaves, which turn an attractive yellow in the fall. The fruit is almost round, yellow-green, about one to two and a half inches long, with sweet, eminently edible, custard-like pulp; when it is ripe it becomes black or dark brown. Dwarf pawpaw grows in East Texas and southwest into Central Texas in dry pine and oak woods. It grows best in soils that are moist and well-drained, suffering or dying in dry, hard soils. In its native habitat it grows in open shade, although it will survive in full sun. There are varying reports about the taste of the fruits: some claim it is just as delicious as that of A. triloba and others disagree. They are attractive plants in the landscape, but are just as often cultivated for their fruit, perhaps to be used in recipes from cookbooks dedicated exclusively to pawpaws. Pawpaws are also the only plants that the larvae of the exquisite zebra swallowtail will eat.

Plant Habit or Use: small shrub
medium shrub

Exposure: partial sun

Flower Color: green to dark purple

Blooming Period: spring

Fruit Characteristics: "berry" 1 to 2 inches long, yellow turning black to dark brown

Height: 3 to 8 feet

Width: 2 to 6 feet

Plant Character: deciduous

Heat Tolerance: medium

Water Requirements:

Soil Requirements: acid

USDA Hardiness Zone: 7

Additional Comments:

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