Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Way Down Yonder in the Pawpaw Patch

If you're not familiar with the song I referred to in the title, you can go here to see and listen to it

In several places around here, comfortably set in the understorey, we have a few pawpaw patches, though in all our years here we have never managed to find a ripe one.    I think the coons are quick and lay in wait to get them just before they ripen. 

This is when they bloom.    Beautiful brown flowers set like ornaments in the early spring trees.  

Each one may fruit.  Or not.   They are notoriously fragile.  Last year we noticed a group of five fruits maturing, then four, then three, then they were all gone.  

We'll keep watching and maybe one year we'll get a ripe one.

The leaves on pawpaw trees are long and ovate, with the bottom edge wider than the top.  They're sort of leathery.

And the leaves stink.   We have a small patch of pawpaw hanging out in one of our nicer black raspberry patches.   The first time I backed into a pawpaw tree I thought I'd just stepped in one of my poop quizzes.  It's pretty vile.  But very distinctive.  There have been times that I was pushing through brush without paying attention to the leaves, and then smelled that smell.  Sure enough I'd found another patch.

In the fall, the leaves turn a lovely cool yellow.  Not gold.  Yellow.  Japanese yellow. Closer to chartreuse.  A color just as distinctive as the rest of the tree.


  1. Could you maybe wrap some net around a couple of them and see if that keeps the little thieves at bay? Gorgeous flowers!!

  2. Oh I know: those critters must sit next to the plants waiting for them to ripen because we rarely get any fruits too. I think we've been able to harvest 2 in the 13 yrs we've lived here. I don't like pawpaw fruits, so I don't mind that we don't get any. Hubby and son2 likes them, but I prefer durian (and talk about stench...OMG...in Thailand? they have don't allow people to take durian on public transportation due to the stench. The fact that they're shaped like porcupines probably doesn't help either).


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