[NAFEX] Paw Paw species propagation

Lucky Pittman lucky.pittman at murraystate.edu
Wed Nov 9 17:07:03 EST 2005

At 02:07 PM 11/9/2005, you wrote:
>I understand there is two other species of Paw Paw native to the US besides A.
>triloba. Has anyone used these as dwarfing or early fruiting rootstocks for A.
>triloba? Both are smaller trees or shrubs. Also, has anyone eaten their 
>fruit or
>selected any seedlings?

I have an A.parviflora(small-flowered pawpaw) selection, "Trash Pile", 
which I made from plants growing on my parents' former farm, in Lee Co., AL 
- just outside of Auburn.  Heavy fruit production is what caught my 
attention initially - the small fruits, 2-2.5" in length, were festooned 
all along the length of its branches, rather than in 'hands', as is the 
case with A.triloba.  Fruits are quite seedy, with a pretty thin rim of 
pulp surrounding them - certainly nothing to write home 
about.  Additionally, I suspected that this particular plant might be 
self-fertile, as there were no other pawpaws of either common 
species(triloba or parviflora) within several hundred feet - and my graft 
of it here in KY has fruited well, with no other blooming pawpaws located 
within several hundred yards.

  My graft of "Trash Pile" (on A.triloba rootstock - so it's evident that 
they're graft-compatible) has been fully winter hardy here in southern 
west-central KY, and Gordon Nofs has been growing it for several years at 
his Flint, MI location.  A couple of years back, Gordon told me he had a 
late freeze that burned the new leaves off all his A.triloba trees, but the 
A.parviflora leaves were virtually unscathed.

I'm growing this selection mainly for nostalgia's sake, but it's possible 
that A.parviflora seedlings *might* work as a dwarfing rootstock for 
A.triloba.  The "Trash Pile" ortet was less than 10 ft tall, growing out in 
the open on a terrace on top of a droughty old red clay hillside; may have 
now been overtaken by encroaching kudzu & sweetgum trees, and if it is 
still alive, I have no doubt the developers who purchased the property 
will, at some point in time, bulldoze it.

If anyone cares to play around with this selection, I can supply limited 
amounts of scionwood - and may be able to find some seed from this year's 
fruit crop in the litter around the base of my grafted tree.

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