[NAFEX] Seeking advice about paw paws

Stephen Sadler Docshiva at Docshiva.org
Wed Apr 19 16:12:56 EDT 2006

I, too, am a supertaster, and am looking for Paw Paw varieties without that
bitter aftertaste.  


With fruits I can separate out the bitter or other flavor I don’t like, and
I will like the other flavors present.  One of my early posts – okay, a few
of them – was looking for sources for Lavender Gem, a tangelolo.  With it’s
largely grapefruit heritage, tangelolos have all the spritely and refreshing
citrus flavor of grapefruit, but the ‘tang’ part just seems to shut down the
bitterness gene.  Still looking
 found a source in Southern CA, but they’re
closing shop.  I also have similar problems with papaya – the varieties I
can get in CA have an off-taste to me, but there are some Mexican varieties
– that won’t grow here – that taste delicious.  


Stephen Sadler, Ph.D.

USDA 9, AHS heat zone 8, 

Sacramento CA - Mediterranean climate


From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of mauch1 at aol.com
Sent: Wednesday, April 19, 2006 12:21 PM
To: nafex at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: [NAFEX] Seeking advice about paw paws


--Is there a reasonable expectation of getting tasty fruits from  
seedlings? Or do I need to purchase grafted trees (about $25 each  
from Raintree)? Being optimistic about the quality of seedlings, I  
would like to try raising the trees from seed, bu I'm getting too old  
to wait years for fruit and then be disappointed in the taste.--


Well, I've grown grafted and seedling pawpaws, and have grafted my own.


Purchased grafted pawpaws will produce fruit about 2 years earlier than

seedling trees (on average).  I'd say you'll start getting flowers (and 

remember you have to have flowers on two different varieties to get fruit) 

about 4 years after planting (might be 3-5).  Anybody's experience



Once you get flowers, it helps (and is very easy) to hand pollinate.  


Neal Peterson, founder of the PawPaw Foundation, now has his own varieties

of 'scienfically bred/selected' varieties.  But I think you're looking at
2007 to

get trees from him as he only ships bareroot and only in the Spring.  



Seedlings will produce fruit.  Sometimes they're small and sometimes they're
large.  (Small

is 3 or so inches long and 2 wide (the fruits are kind of potato or been
shaped).  Large are

4-5 inches long and 3 inches wide.  Given the size of the seeds (~1 inch) it
can make 

a difference in how much flesh there is.


Flavor.  I haven't tasted that many varieties.  But I loved Pawpaws until my
wife, who is 

a 'supertaster' (she is definitively more sensitive to taste and smells than
I am), pointed

out the aftertaste of pawpaws which can be bitter, at least in some
varieties.  Now

I don't like them nearly as much as I used to because I'm always looking for

taste to be present.  Funny how the mind can emphasize or blind you to

until it's pointed out, and then you can't go back to your previous blissful


Others have pointed out a local source to you which sounds excellent.  My
BYFG group

usually has a Pawpaw tasting tour in September, to go and taste pawpaws in

locations in PA.


Take care.


Chris Mauchline
SE PA, zone 6
40° 5' N 75° 51'W
~650 ft elevation

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