Pawpaw Tree Names and Types of Asimina Species

Picture of a Pawpaw Tree
Pawpaw Tree
A young Pawpaw tree (Asimina triloba)
Pawpaw fruit and leaves
Common pawpaw (Asimina triloba), showing fruit and leaves. Picture by Scott Bauer, USDA Image use

Pawpaw (Asimina) is a genus of eight or nine species of small trees with large leaves and fruit, native to eastern North America. The pawpaw's are shrubs or small trees, reaching heights of 2 to 12 m tall. The northern cold tolerant common pawpaw (Asimina triloba) is deciduous, while the southern species are often evergreen.

Pawpaw flowers are produced singly or in clusters of up to eight together, petal color varies from white to purple or reddish brown. The resulting edible fruit is the largest that is indigenous to North America.

They are understory trees found in deep fertile bottomland and hilly upland habitat. Pawpaw is in the same family (Annonaceae) as the custard-apple, cherimoya, sweetsop, ylang-ylang and soursop, and it is the only member of that family not confined to the tropics.

The fruit is a large edible berry, 5 to 16 cm long and 3 to 7 cm broad, weighing from 20 to 500 g, with numerous seeds; it is green when unripe, maturing to yellow or brown. It has a flavor somewhat similar to both banana and mango, varying significantly by cultivar, and has more protein than most fruits.

This page refers to the North American species commonly known as "Pawpaw" in the genus Asimina. In some other parts of the world the name pawpaw is applied to the unrelated tropical fruit Papaya (Carica papaya).

Facts about the Asimina Genus of Trees
  • Genus Latin Scientific Name = Asimina.
  • Genus Latin Name Pronunciation: a-SEE-mee-nuh
  • Genus Latin Name Meaning: From the Native American word for this plant.
  • Genus Common Names = Pawpaw
  • Number of Species in the Asimina Genus = 8, and 1 Hybrid
List of Pawpaw Trees, Asimina Genus - All known species, taxa types, organized by scientific Latin botanical name first and common names second
List of Pawpaw Tree Names
Botanical Tree NameCommon Tree Name
Asimina angustifolia Slimleaf pawpaw
Asimina incana Woolly pawpaw
Asimina obovata Bigflower pawpaw
Asimina parviflora Smallflower pawpaw
Asimina pygmea Dwarf pawpaw
Asimina reticulata Netted pawpaw
Asimina tetramera Fourpetal pawpaw
Asimina triloba Pawpaw, Common Pawpaw, Prairie Banana

Pawpaw (Asimina) Hybrids;

Asimina ×nashii