[NAFEX] pawpaw flowering & hand pollenating

Jwlehman at aol.com Jwlehman at aol.com
Sat Apr 19 12:54:20 EDT 2008

In a message dated 4/19/2008 10:50:32 AM Eastern Daylight Time, 
arboretum at homeorchardsociety.org writes:

> am i correct then in understanding that first the flower is receptive to 
> outside pollen, gets fertilized, then ripens and sends out its own pollen?  
> what is that type of flower technically called? 

Hi Karen,

Yes, that is correct. Keep in mind that most pawpaws are self steril. Then 
there is the problem of not many insects visiting pawpaw flowers to carry 
pollen. That is the reason to plant different varieties close together, helping the 
insects get around. Mine are 5 feet apart, and that is troo close. Dr. Pomper 
and Neal Peterson recommend 8 feet spacing and I agree. Ten feet, in my 
opinion, would be OK in a commercial orchard of many trees. But one would need a mix 
of vartieties. A block of the same variety planted 8 X 8 spacing would likely 
not accomplish much. 

The name for flowers where the stigma mature first is Protogynous. If 
reversed and anthers mature first it is Protandrous. I believe the same term is used 
in trees that have both pisstilate and staminate flowers on the same tree such 
as the species Carya, pecan for example.   


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