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Apr 1, 2012 07:26 PM

Native Pawpaws

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. Grimo Nut Nursery in Niagara sells pawpaw saplings. Their website indicates they might be available after July 1.

    1. 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

        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

          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

            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

              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

                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

                  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

                    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

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