Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Asimina triloba


SPECIES: Asimina triloba
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Sullivan, Janet. 1993. Asimina triloba. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: [].

ABBREVIATION : ASITRI SYNONYMS : NO-ENTRY SCS PLANT CODE : ASTR COMMON NAMES : pawpaw custard apple dog banana Indian banana false-banana pawpaw-apple fetid-shrub TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name for pawpaw is Asimina triloba (L.) Dunal [15,21,31]. There are no accepted subspecies, varieties or forms. Pawpaw forms hybrids with dwarf pawpaw (A. parviflora) [21]. LIFE FORM : Tree, Shrub FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : Pawpaw is considered rare and endangered in New York [4].


SPECIES: Asimina triloba
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Pawpaw is widely distributed throughout the eastern United States. Its range extends from western New York west across southwestern Ontario to Michigan, Illinois, and Iowa; south to eastern Nebraska, eastern Oklahoma, and eastern Texas; east to the Appalachian Mountains and the Florida panhandle [15,21,28,31]. ECOSYSTEMS : FRES13 Loblolly - shortleaf pine FRES14 Oak - pine FRES15 Oak - hickory FRES16 Oak - gum - cypress FRES17 Elm - ash - cottonwood FRES18 Maple - beech - birch STATES : AL AR FL GA IL IN IA KS KY LA MD MI MS MO NE NY NC OH OK PA SC TN TX VA WV ON BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : NO-ENTRY KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS : K089 Black Belt K098 Northern floodplain forest K100 Oak - hickory forest K101 Elm - ash forest K102 Beech - maple forest K103 Mixed mesophytic forest K104 Appalachian oak forest K111 Oak - hickory - pine forest K112 Southern mixed forest K113 Southern floodplain forest SAF COVER TYPES : 25 Sugar maple - beech - yellow birch 26 Sugar maple - basswood 27 Sugar maple 28 Black cherry - maple 39 Black ash - American elm - red maple 42 Bur oak 52 White oak - black oak - northern red oak 53 White oak 55 Northern red oak 57 Yellow-poplar 58 Yellow-poplar - eastern hemlock 59 Yellow-poplar - white oak - northern red oak 60 Beech - sugar maple 61 River birch - sycamore 62 Silver maple - American elm 64 Sassafras - persimmon 65 Pin oak - sweetgum 76 Shortleaf pine - oak 78 Virginia pine - oak 82 Loblolly pine - hardwood 87 Sweetgum - yellow-poplar 91 Swamp chestnut oak - cherrybark oak 92 Sweetgum - willow oak 93 Sugarberry - American elm - green ash 94 Sycamore - sweetgum - American elm 108 Red maple SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES :


SPECIES: Asimina triloba
WOOD PRODUCTS VALUE : Pawpaw wood is light, soft, coarse-grained, and weak [28,31]. It is not of economic importance. IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : Pawpaw fruits are consumed by many birds and mammals, including raccoons, gray foxes, opossums, squirrels, and black bears [6,8,16,31]. White-tailed deer browse pawpaw; beavers consume the bark [17]. PALATABILITY : NO-ENTRY NUTRITIONAL VALUE : NO-ENTRY COVER VALUE : NO-ENTRY VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : NO-ENTRY OTHER USES AND VALUES : Pawpaw fruit can be consumed by humans, although handling the fruit may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals [28]. The fruits can be eaten raw, cooked in puddings or breads, or used to make ice cream [9]. It is planted for fruit production and as an ornamental [2]. An anticancer drug has been purified from pawpaw, and is being tested [34]. The seeds contain an alkaloid, asiminine, which is reported to have emetic properties. The bark also contains an alkaloid, analobine, and was once used as a medicine [31]. OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Pawpaw is not valued for silvicuture. Sites that have been clearcut may need to be treated to suppress pawpaw, since it may outcompete valued timber species [13]. Pawpaw creates heavy shade that reduces seedling recruitment of white oak (Quercus alba) and shagbark hickory (Carya ovata) [24,26]. In southwestern Illinois, an increase in pawpaw cover was attributed to defoliation of overstory trees by the linden looper. The pawpaw canopy suppressed seedling establishment of less tolerant species. An increase in shade-tolerant species such as sugar maple (Acer saccharum) is now occurring [24,26]. In Ohio, pawpaw did not occur on study plots until the fourth growing season following clearcutting [35]. Pawpaw leaves are not preferred by the gypsy moth [14].


SPECIES: Asimina triloba
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Pawpaw is a native, deciduous, large shrub or small tree. It exhibits clonal growth, forming thickets or small colonies [15,27]. It grows from 20 to 40 feet (6-12 m) tall [2,16,31]. There is usually a single trunk [28]. The bark is thin with shallow, irregular fissures [28]. Young twigs are hairy [12]. Pawpaw leaves can be up to 1 foot (30 cm) long, and are odorous when bruised [17]. The fruit is a large berry [15,31]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Phanerophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Vegetative reproduction by root suckering is the most important method of pawpaw regeneration [22]. Rogstad and others [25] reported a relatively high level of genetic variation among populations, but moderate or no variation within populations. This was attributed to the formation of clonal thickets and/or inbreeding in small populations [25]. Pawpaw reproduces sexually, however, the rate of fruit set is very low (0.45 percent) compared to the number of flowers produced [33]. It is pollinated by flies or nitidulid beetles [22,32,33]. It self-pollinates, but outcrossing is more common [20]. Germination of pawpaw seeds is slow, probably due to embryo dormancy [2]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Pawpaw is found in deciduous forests, on slopes of ravines, along streams, and floodplains. Soils on which it occurs are usually deep, rich, damp, sandy, or clayey [15,28,36]. Common tree associates include blackgum (Nyssa sylvatica), Ohio buckeye (Aesculus glabra), honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthus), and coffee tree (Gymnocladus dioica) [3,9]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Facultative Seral Species Pawpaw is tolerant of shade, but appears to die out in old-growth forests. In southwestern Pennsylvania, moderate numbers of pawpaw seedlings and saplings were found in mature second-growth forests, but none were found in undisturbed, old-growth forests [7]. From a compilation of historical records and current data on its distribution, Campbell [3] concluded that pawpaw is suited to regimes of moderate disturbance. Pawpaw is a good competitor when undisturbed for a period of time, but does not spread into either early- or late-successional forest types [3]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Pawpaw flowers emerge with the leaves, from February to May, depending on latitude [8,28]. Fruits ripen from July to September [17].


SPECIES: Asimina triloba
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Pawpaw is probably able to survive top-kill by fire due to its ability to produce root sprouts. FIRE REGIMES : Find fire regime information for the plant communities in which this species may occur by entering the species name in the FEIS home page under "Find Fire Regimes". POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY : Tree with adventitious-bud root crown/soboliferous species root sucker Secondary colonizer - off-site seed


SPECIES: Asimina triloba
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : Pawpaw cover is probably reduced by fire. In a study to determine the effects of repeated prescribed fires on vegetation in the prairie-woodland transition zone, fires were conducted for 3 consecutive years. The vegetation was monitored for almost 20 years after the last fire was conducted. Pawpaw stems increased in number only in the absence of fire, and only after 13 years had passed since the last fire [1]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : NO-ENTRY FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Asimina triloba
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Vegetation and tree species patterns near the northern terminus of the southern floodplain forest. Ecological Monographs. 48(3): 249-267. [10381] 25. Rogstad, Steven H.; Wolff, Kirsten; Schaal, Barbara A. 1991. Geographical variation in Asimina triloba Dunal (Annonaceae) revealed by the M13 "DNA fingerprinting" probe. American Journal of Botany. 78(10): 1391-1396. [21852] 26. Shotola, Steven J.; Weaver, G. T.; Robertson, P. A.; Ashby, W. C. 1992. Sugar maple invasion of an old-growth oak-hickory forest in southwestern Illinois. American Midland Naturalist. 127(1): 125-138. [17581] 27. Simpson, Benny J. 1988. A field guide to Texas trees. Austin, TX: Texas Monthly Press. 372 p. [11708] 28. Stephens, H. A. 1973. Woody plants of the North Central Plains. Lawrence, KS: The University Press of Kansas. 530 p. [3804] 29. Stickney, Peter F. 1989. Seral origin of species originating in northern Rocky Mountain forests. Unpublished draft on file at: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT; RWU 4403 files. 7 p. [20090] 30. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 1982. National list of scientific plant names. Vol. 1. List of plant names. SCS-TP-159. Washington, DC. 416 p. [11573] 31. Vines, Robert A. 1960. Trees, shrubs, and woody vines of the Southwest. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. 1104 p. [7707] 32. Voss, Edward G. 1985. Michigan flora. Part II. Dicots (Saururaceae--Cornaceae). Bull. 59. Bloomfield Hills, MI: Cranbrook Institute of Science; Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Herbarium. 724 p. [11472] 33. Willson, Mary F.; Schemske, Douglas W. 1980. Pollinator limitation, fruit production, and floral display in pawpaw (Asimina triloba). Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 107(3): 401-408. [21850] 34. Anon. 1992. Paw paw tree joins the cancer fight. Arbor Day. Sept/Oct: 6. [19184] 35. Artigas, Francisco J.; Boerner, Ralph E. J. 1989. Advance regeneration and seed banking of woody plants in Ohio pine plantations: implications for landscape change. Landscape Ecology. 2(3): 139-150. [13633] 36. Soper, James H.; Heimburger, Margaret L. 1982. Shrubs of Ontario. Life Sciences Misc. Publ. Toronto, ON: Royal Ontario Museum. 495 p. [12907]