It is that time of year again, when the fruit from the Pawpaw tree (Asimina triloba) drops to the ground and ripens. That is an important note. The fruits on the tree are not ripe. You have to search underneath the tree if you want to taste this exotic, yet native delight.
Pawpaw is in the Custard Apple family (Annonaceae), and in the Pawpaw genus (Asimina). It is a small tree of the southeastern United States. We are on its northern range, but it has been planted widely by humans since before Colombus. The fruit falls during September at Mariton and into October. Unfortunately, it turns black and mushy very quickly in hot weather. The photo below shows a ripe fruit, as well as one sliced open to the seeds. The Pawpaw has simple leaves (even though the photo makes it look like compound leaves).
There is a fruiting Pawpaw tree alongside the parking lot at Martion. You are welcome to taste the fruit. It can be eaten with the skin (the seeds are embedded in the flesh). It is a fleshy texture, not unlike a banana. The taste? How about between a pear and a mango? I never know how to describe it. Except for quite tasty and interesting. While I invite you to taste, please do not collect.