evtubbergh
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Is this a paw paw tree?

I pulled this out and took a photo to ask you all to identify for me but my husband says it's a paw paw tree. I'm blown over because he never knows what anything is called but I guess he comes from and area thra grown tropical fruit.

Anyway, can anyone confirm this for me? I'm considering trying to pot it and see if I can grow it on the patio over winter.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Is this a paw paw tree?

Well, I don't know if you have something else in S. Africa that is called paw paw.

We have a paw paw that is native here, and your leaf is not even close to it:


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https://www.sevenkids.net/.a/6a00d8341cc ... cfa970d-pi


Asimina triloba

It is a temperate tree, not a tropical. Would not live in your area, because it needs cold dormancy.


OK, I looked it up. Apparently in Africa (and maybe S. America), there is a papaya tree (Carica papaya) which is commonly called paw paw.

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Re: Is this a paw paw tree?

That is not Asimina triloba--pawpaw.

Possibly useless trivia about pawpaw. Its roots are very fleshy (and fragile) so it only transplants poorly while it is fully dormant. an' not at all awake. Most northerly of the ebony family. Has a strongly perfumed fruit that can literally be smelled for blocks. Its strawberry and banana flavored fruit has seeds big as a quarter.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Is this a paw paw tree?

nope, definitely not our paw paw, asimina triloba.

but probably is their paw paw, carica papaya.
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evtubbergh
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Re: Is this a paw paw tree?

That is the weirdest thing. I was on my phone so it was difficult to look up. The brief look on google images gave me those ovate leaves you posted too but not ours.

So do you buy paw paw like that in the shops or papaya like we get? Is your paw paw nice to eat?

I have wondered for years what the real difference between pawpaw and papaya is! Now I see all our fruit is actually papaya, probably just different varieties.

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Ozark Lady
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Re: Is this a paw paw tree?

I buy papaya at the health food store dried.. it is good.

I have never seen our paw paws in stores.
I walk out and look for them, and wait for them to ripen.

They are interesting to eat straight. Kind of texture like avocado, but to me the flavor is banana laced with orange juice. The large seeds are interesting, a bit larger than a watermelon seed.

I think our paw paws shine in "banana bread" they already have the banana and orange flavor naturally.

I haven't tried dehydrating them, but I bet they would be good.

We have a large patch of them deep in the ravine, hard to get to, and a single tree up here where we are.
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Re: Is this a paw paw tree?

I think in Australia and the Caribbean papayas are called pawpaw apparently it is the spanish name for papaya. The American pawpaw is related to soursop and cherimoya. I think I have seen something like that growing here but I never knew what they were.
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!potatoes!
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Re: Is this a paw paw tree?

i have found asemina pawpaws in a store, but it was wild-collected fruit. there are really good selected cultivars around though, with high flesh-to-seed ratio, and improved texture and flavor...i think we're getting to a place where a commercial pawpaw orchard could do well. when we buy property, i plan on putting in a fair number.

(papaya is also frequently called pawpaw in the carribean, for those keeping score)

evtubbergh
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Re: Is this a paw paw tree?

This is so interesting! I never noticed that there were no papayas in your shops because I don't actually like them. (The reason I have one growing is because I buy them for the birds). I might prefer it dried though.

It's funny how things I thought were so normal are not every where.

Would anyone like to send me some seeds? How invasive are they?

PS The tree it all wilted so probably not worth trying. Also my husband tried to (politely) tell me it would not work on our patio. One day I will build a greenhouse and grow a papaya :)

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Re: Is this a paw paw tree?

Most pawpaw fruit sold fresh or as preserves-jam are wild collected. Pawpaw does not transplant well even when fully dormant, and just about not at all when awake.

Keeping this tree in a pot is not an option. It will not tolerate fiddling with its feet. trust me, large leaf size notwithstanding I tried.

I'm also wondering if seasonal fatigue may not preclude its being kept in SA.

Remind me late in August if you want to try anyway. I might also recommend you check with your Dept. O Agriculture, to see if you can legally import seed. Plant police are rarely supplied with a sense of humor. FWIW they won't be sending me to jail...
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Ozark Lady
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Re: Is this a paw paw tree?

Around here paw paw trees are only 'understory' trees.
When I find young ones growing, I look around, there has to be shade of a larger tree.
If the area around the paw paw gets too cleared out, it just dies right out.

But, down in the ravine, they get very tall, and have several feet out of the canopy above and do really well.
I think you are on to something about touchy about its base.

I shared lots of seeds with folks, I haven't heard if anyone had any luck starting them and growing them from seeds.
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Re: Is this a paw paw tree?

Ozark Lady wrote:Around here paw paw trees are only 'understory' trees.

I shared lots of seeds with folks, I haven't heard if anyone had any luck starting them and growing them from seeds.
With some shade (and yes they are an understory tree) seed planted in prepared ground will grow well. I've sent on seed and seedlings inside USofA. Shipping over the border needs a bare-root plant and CITES paperwork.

If you simply must grow them in a germination pan, leave them sit till they are dormant again before transplanting for their final time to field.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Is this a paw paw tree?

evtubbergh wrote:This is so interesting! I never noticed that there were no papayas in your shops because I don't actually like them. (The reason I have one growing is because I buy them for the birds). I might prefer it dried though.

It's funny how things I thought were so normal are not every where.

Would anyone like to send me some seeds? How invasive are they?

PS The tree it all wilted so probably not worth trying. Also my husband tried to (politely) tell me it would not work on our patio. One day I will build a greenhouse and grow a papaya :)

We have to be really careful here, since we are talking about different things.

There are papayas in our stores. They are tropical fruits imported from Central America or somewhere.

There are no American paw paws in our stores, because the fruits are very delicate and can't be shipped, turn in to mush.

When you asked about sending you seed, did you mean seed of the American paw paw or of the Carica papaya? The American paw paw is not likely to do well in your climated due to the lack of cold dormancy.
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evtubbergh
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Re: Is this a paw paw tree?

I meant papayas in the shops and seeds for your pawpaws. They might do very well here in Joburg, which is why I'd love to try them. We have a decent cold winter with frost and everything so I think they would be ok. I noticed they were low growing under some other trees. I have space available near some taller trees that gets a fair amount of water. This is actually in my mom's garden but I hope she won't mind.

I was thinking when you said it's sensitive that I could start them in peat pots. I can plant them out while still young and protect them with cages as my mom really looks after her garden.

It's always good to try new fruit and new plants :)

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Ozark Lady
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Re: Is this a paw paw tree?

I don't have any seeds on hand.

A few years back, I harvested, ate and saved a lot of seeds for folks in the USA.

After I sent all that were interested seeds, I just threw the others out. I have had no requests lately, and therefore have not saved seeds of them at all.

I have picked them green, they will gradually ripen, but they are pretty delicate. I am not sure why they were never raised commercially, but I do recall seeing some online businesses that do provide them to folks.

Some years we have quite a bit of frost but not much deep freezing, and not usually much snow or ice. But, they do need their period of dormancy.

One thing, they stink. The fruit are not pollinated in the usual way, they are a repellent to most pollinators, so a reliable harvest is sometimes hard to get. The entire plant stinks, but the fruits don't.
When ripe, they kind of look like large potatoes, not very pretty. I would say that they lack eye appeal.
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Re: Is this a paw paw tree?

i will likely have access to lots of pawpaw seed in the (northern hemisphere) fall. but you'd probably have to remind me.

also, pawpaws are naturally understory trees, and need shade for the first two or three years, but after that, they yield much better in full sun. seriously beautiful trees when grown in full sun.

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Re: Is this a paw paw tree?

Ozark Lady wrote:I shared lots of seeds with folks, I haven't heard if anyone had any luck starting them and growing them from seeds.
Ozark Lady -- I didn't report? :oops:

I have one little tree growing in a threesome with my two purchased pawpaw treelings which my kids whimsically named "Pa'" and "Pa'" (say with Little House on the Prairie accent). Last I looked, the little seedling was about 18" tall. The little one needs a name 8)

I sowed seeds near to the other two in a location I had chosen for the purchased treelets after some serious thinking as to suitability, and also in a few spots near the back fence, but the back fence ones didn't seem to have made it. Too dry, I suspect.

I have to admit I had a few more seeds in the fridge in a little zip bag that got pushed to the back and forgotten :oops: :( and. I discovered that they had sprouted at some point much too late. So that's something to keep in mind for anyone trying to grow them from seeds.

PAPAYA -- i see them in the grocery store but I don't get them because if I had the choice, I tend to buy mango. But I did buy one a long time ago and tried growing the seeds. I think I mentioned this before somewhere.... They were VERY easy to grow from seeds, and the seedlings with their mini true leaves were adorable and attractive. I accidentally let the whole lot die in the fall or I would have one or two in my container tropical tree collection along with avocado and mango.

The fruits in the stores here are obviously picked green and "ripened" -- the insipid flavor didn't appeal to me but maybe there's a better way to eat them -- did you say you dry them or did you say you just get them as birdfeed? I had read that you can eat the seeds and tried -- they were peppery (reminiscent of black pepper). I wonder if you can dry and grind them into pepper like spice?

My favorite on-line tropical plant source sells DWARF papaya cultivar described as good for container culture and I have been eye-ing for a while now but it is rather expensive, along with cassia cinanamon, cacao, vanilla orchid, and spice pepper (my other wishlist plants).
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evtubbergh
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Re: Is this a paw paw tree?

Ok Tomc and !potatoes!, I will remind you both in my spring for seeds :) Thanks

Whoever said they stink, thanks for the warning. I kind of wish I didn't read that so then I could tell my mom, I didn't know. ;) But maybe she will let me put it/them at the back behind the hydrangeas.

I can see why they are difficult to cultivate if they need shade for a few years, then sun. We will have to see what we can do. If they get tall enough they will probably get sun. Perhaps by then we will have our big house and I can plant them in my own garden :)

Ozark they must be easy to grow because everyone in Nelspruit replied with a resounding NO to my offer of a seedling. (Nelspruit is in the Lowveld and they grow stuff like this because they don't actually get winter. My husband was astounded when he moved here to discover that we experience seasons like in those pictures of trees that you learn about in school!)

I would recommend a dwarf variety so you can move it inside and all that. They defintley need to be properly ripe and I think I know what you mean about the insipid, picked-green taste. Avos get like that too. They are tasty when ripe and my mom used to eat them with orange juice squeezed over. (My mom also grew up in one of those areas.) My mom in-law put them in fruit salad and they defintley do well there.

I actually don't like them very much but the barbets, weavers and louries think they're delicious. The seeds are the first to go though and my one cat also used to like them. I've never actually tasted them. We used to squeeze them so the hard seed popped out the soft outer bit and shoot each other.

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Ozark Lady
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Re: Is this a paw paw tree?

You can always plant them as a border plant... to repel other things that might eat the garden... then stinking is a good thing.

They don't stink, like a skunk, but the foliage and blooms definitely don't smell nice. They won't overpower the nice smell of pretty flowers, but they won't attract bees, butterflies etc. They get pollinated by flies..

They are pretty plants, I don't think the ripe fruits are pretty, not like an apple, a peach etc.
They make us feel like we have a bit of the tropics right here.

They would likely be tasty in your chutney, not as a hot item, but with the interesting flavors and textures.
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evtubbergh
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Re: Is this a paw paw tree?

We have a stinky tree here. I wonder if it's the same plant although since I smelled it at the beach, it probably is not.

I'm not sure my mom will buy into the repel insects thing but I am sure I can et away with it somehwere she never goes.

Oh how I wish we had our big house!

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Re: Is this a paw paw tree?

There are a number of stinky trees and other plants that are pollinated by flies, most of them tropical.
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Re: Is this a paw paw tree?

Hi! :)
It's interesting to "listen" to this exchange about paw paw and papaya because in Malaysia where I am, papaya is one of the most common and popular fruits around. I've never seen paw-paw. But the papaya in Malaysia is sweet and juicy. Some have yellow flesh and some have orange-coloured flesh. The unripe fruit, the leaves and flowers are also eaten as a vegetable. The leaves have a bitter taste, but this can be reduced by blanching them before stir-frying. They are said to be a medicine for high-blood pressure. The unripe fruit is cooked as a soup - yummy and sweet! :)

jina

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Ozark Lady
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Re: Is this a paw paw tree?

Wow, now I want a papaya tree.

How tropical are they? Can they take any low temps?

I love plants that have dual uses, like eat the fruits and the leaves etc.

Papaya soup, oh I have to try this, can you tell us in general, how you make this?

Do you serve it hot or cold? So, interesting.
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