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Gardening Answers Knowledgebase

Knowledgebase record #277

Pawpaw by Andrew Moore, 2015

Reviewed by: Brian Thompson
Review date: 2016-10-01

Pawpaw cover

Andrew Moore’s "Pawpaw" is the result of an individual’s love for a favorite fruit. While it is a native small tree to 26 states in the eastern United States, the pawpaw is still unfamiliar to most Americans.

To those who love this fruit, Asimina triloba has been sadly overlooked. The author compares it to the blueberry, another native that was relatively unknown 100 years ago, and was included among the “wild foods that Americans gathered and ate.” The blueberry, thanks to the dedicated work of a handful of enthusiasts, has become a mainstay of the American diet. The pawpaw lacked such champions.

Moore writes most of the book like a travelogue, visiting growers and enthusiasts throughout the native range of the pawpaw. You get the impression that but for a few twist of fates, the pawpaw might have come to share the blueberry’s popularity. While this is not a culture book, you’ll pick up some ideas from the many stories on how to grow your own and even more ideas on how to prepare the fruit for eating.

There are some suggestions that a pawpaw will grow well here, and one Oregon nursery, One Green World in Portland, is listed as a source. If reading this book whets your appetite, you can visit the nursery this fall for variety tastings and pawpaw ice cream!

Excerpted from the Fall 2016 Arboretum Bulletin.

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