Pawpaws only grow in southern Michigan. The 3 to 6 inch long fruits ripen in October and have a custard-like consistency and a flavor like banana. The fruits are harvested before they drop off the plant.
The fruit can be stored in a single layer under cool conditions. They may also be quick frozen but upon thawing will be found to be soft. Pawpaw will keep for 2 or 3 weeks in the refrigerator. They are often eaten with cream and sugar.
The plant can be a small tree about 30 feet tall. The flowers are 2 inches across and open green but change to purplish-red with yellow centers. The plant grows best in rich, moist, well-drained soil and open shade.
Pawpaw can be grown from seeds, root cuttings, or suckers. Plants larger than 18 inches are somewhat difficult to transplant. The best time to transplant is in early spring when the plants are dormant. Plants with good fruiting characteristics may be budded or grafted onto seedlings.
The plants bear fruit when they are about 5 years old.
Some people develop a skin rash after handling or eating Pawpaws.