"Asimina is a genus of eight species of small trees or shrubs with large simple leaves and large fruit, native to eastern North America, collectively referred to as Pawpaw. The genus includes the widespread common pawpaw Asimina triloba, which bears the largest edible fruit indigenous to the continent. Pawpaws are native to 26 states of the U.S. and to Ontario in Canada. The common pawpaw is a patch-forming (clonal) understory tree found in well-drained, deep, fertile bottomland and hilly upland habitat. Pawpaws are in the same plant family (Annonaceae) as the custard-apple, cherimoya, sweetsop, ylang-ylang and soursop; the genus is the only member of that family not confined to the tropics.
The common pawpaw is native to shady, rich bottom lands, where it often forms a dense undergrowth in the forest, often appearing as a patch or thicket of individual small slender trees.
Pawpaw flowers are insect-pollinated, but fruit production is limited since few if any pollinators are attracted to the flower's faint, or sometimes non-existent scent. The flowers produce an odor similar to that of rotting meat to attract blowflies or carrion beetles for cross pollination. Other insects that are attracted to pawpaw plants include scavenging fruit flies, carrion flies and beetles.
Pawpaw fruit may be eaten by foxes, opossums, squirrels and raccoons. However, pawpaw leaves and twigs are seldom consumed by rabbits or deer.
The leaves, twigs, and bark of the common pawpaw tree contain natural insecticides known as acetogenins.
Larvae of the Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly feed exclusively on young leaves of the various pawpaw species, but never occur in great numbers on the plants.
The pawpaw is also gaining in popularity among backyard gardeners because of the tree's distinctive growth habit, the appeal of its fresh fruit, and its relatively low maintenance needs once established. The common pawpaw is also of interest in ecological restoration plantings since this tree grows well in wet soil and has a strong tendency to form well-rooted colonial thickets."
Taken from wikipedia's page at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A...