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Native Pawpaws

Flexitarian Apr 1, 2012 07:26 PM

Does anyone know where I can get a native Pawpaw sapling (also known as custard apple) and, better still for this year, does anyone know where I can buy the Pawpaw fruit when it is in season later in the summer/early fall?

For anyone who isn't familiar with this fruit, the native Pawpaw tree is indigenous to the Golden Horseshoe and produces a fruit that tastes tropical, kind of like a cross between a mango and a banana, and has custardy-like flesh. (Btw, not to be confused with papaya, which Jamaicans also call pawpaw). Incredible that we even have an indigenous fruit tree that produces fruit that tastes tropical.

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  1. t
    Tatai RE: Flexitarian Apr 1, 2012 10:37 PM

    Grimo Nut Nursery in Niagara sells pawpaw saplings. Their website indicates they might be available after July 1. http://www.grimonut.com/catalog.php?c...

    1. g
      gimel RE: Flexitarian Apr 2, 2012 06:18 AM

      henryfields.ca sells the saplings. I've been sorely tempted, but a pawpaw thicket just wouldn't look that great in my limited garden space.

      8 Replies
      1. re: gimel
        Tatai RE: gimel Apr 2, 2012 10:58 AM

        From what I understand, they give off an awful smell, as well, so best to place the trees as far away from the house as possible.

        1. re: Tatai
          sparrowgrass RE: Tatai Apr 2, 2012 11:07 AM

          Lots of pawpaws around here, and the only odor I know of is the ripe fruit. The trees themselves don't smell. Wild ones don't fruit often, and when they do, squirrels devour them, so not much opportunity to complain about the smell.

          1. re: Tatai
            Lazar RE: Tatai Apr 2, 2012 12:39 PM

            Are you sure you're not thinking of durian? From my recollection, custard apples do not give off an odour at all

            1. re: Lazar
              biggreenmatt RE: Lazar Apr 2, 2012 12:51 PM

              I think that durian's strictly tropical, otherwise you wouldn't see it being sold frozen at T&T.

              Durian's the one thing I'll never eat again. Ever.

              1. re: Lazar
                Herne RE: Lazar Apr 2, 2012 12:53 PM

                As I recall from about 50 years ago pawpaws in the Toronto area where I grew up were relatively small red fruit from a small tree. Nobody in my neighbourhood (Cedervale Park) knew what to do with them. I still don't::)).

                1. re: Herne
                  maple99 RE: Herne Apr 10, 2012 07:20 AM

                  You also must be thinking of some other tree. Pawpaw fruit is green, ripening to brown. There is no red involved at all.

                  1. re: maple99
                    Herne RE: maple99 Apr 10, 2012 09:47 AM

                    Pawpaw trees in my childhood neighbourhood started out green-yellow and then turned into a reddish brown when ripe. The rotting meat smell apparently is useful to attract various insects for pollination purposes. At 5 for $20 I was in a million dollar neighbourhood and didn't know it.

              2. re: Tatai
                maple99 RE: Tatai Apr 10, 2012 07:19 AM

                The flowers are pollinated by flies, so they do make a rotting meat odour - BUT it is only detectable if you stick your nose right in the flower. You must be thinking of some other tree.

            2. Dr. John RE: Flexitarian Apr 2, 2012 03:29 PM

              Pawpaws apparently show up in some of the farmer's markets in the fall (e.g., Brickworks). I've asked Jonathan Forbes (of the Forbes brand) and he says he gets them sometimes. I haven't been lucky enough to come across any though.


              1. y
                youdonut RE: Flexitarian Apr 9, 2012 10:58 AM

                the grocery store in the mississauga Chinese center has the apples for sale, kinda expensive though at 5 for $20.

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