Picking Up Pawpaws.. Blooming

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As I was in the throes of cutting and baling my overgrown lawn last week in Northeast Ohio, I was pleasantly surprised to see a profuse flower display on my Pawpaw (Asmina triloba) trees!  I can’t recall ever seeing so many buds and blooms on the tree, especially the numbers which were noted this season.  Now some may opine that the green, brown fuzz covered bud scales are the reason most people ignore and consequently, miss the real floral display, because the buds seem so uninspiring. 


Pawpaw (Asimina triloba) flower
Pawpaw (Asimina triloba) flowers fully colored


But honestly, that is the real beauty of knowing plants and their potential.  I love those green, fuzz covered buds, because I know the tremendous color change that awaits.  If I pay attention and patiently observe those bud scales, the smoothest petals of the exact same green color slip inconspicuously into view.  Now this subtle stage is set for the real thrill to happen.  Those green petals transform to become one of the deepest burgundy to an almost black color that is truly magnificent and delicate at the same time.


Green petals of the Pawpaw flower
Note the fuzzy brown bud scales and the green petals of the Pawpaw flower


Pawpaw petals beginning to show color
A young Pawpaw flower beginning its color transformation


I have always enjoyed Micheal Dirr’s description in his book, “Manual of Woody Landscape Plants“ of the Pawpaw flower.  He writes, ”Lurid purple, 1 to2” across… not particularly showy but interesting; seldom seen by the uninitiated…”.  Just think, now by reading this article, you now belong to the group of “Pawpaw Peoples” and not the uninitiated!!


A look inside the exquisite Pawpaw flower
A look inside the exquisite Pawpaw flower