Asimina triloba - (L.) Dunal
Pawpaw
Other English Common Names: Common Pawpaw
Other Common Names: pawpaw
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Asimina triloba (L.) Dunal (TSN 18117)
French Common Names: asiminier trilobé
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.148616
Element Code: PDANN02080
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Other flowering plants
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Magnoliales Annonaceae Asimina
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Asimina triloba
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 16Jul2015
Global Status Last Changed: 19Sep1983
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: This species is has a very broad range in eastern North America and is frequently encountered in a wide variety of wooded habitats across its range. At present, collection pressure does not seem to be a major concern, however as with most plants of potential commercial value, future changes in the market may put increased pressure on this species unless cultivation is pursued.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5
Nation: Canada
National Status: N3 (14Oct2017)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (SNR), Arkansas (SNR), Delaware (S5), District of Columbia (SNR), Florida (SNR), Georgia (S5), Illinois (SNR), Indiana (SNR), Iowa (S2), Kansas (SNR), Kentucky (S5), Louisiana (SNR), Maryland (SNR), Michigan (SNR), Mississippi (SNR), Missouri (SNR), Nebraska (S4S5), New Jersey (S3), New York (S2), North Carolina (S5), Ohio (SNR), Oklahoma (SNR), Pennsylvania (S5), South Carolina (SNR), Tennessee (SNR), Texas (SNR), Virginia (S5), West Virginia (S5), Wisconsin (SNR)
Canada Ontario (S3)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Eastern North America, from central and western New York (Young pers. comm.) and Ontario west to Wisconsin (USDA-NRCS 1999), southern Iowa (Pearson pers. comm.), eastern Kansas (Freeman pers. comm.) and Nebraska (Kartesz 1999); south to Texas, Louisiana and Florida; east to the Carolinas (USDA-NRCS 1999).

Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300
Number of Occurrences Comments: Several thousand populations are likely extant rangewide. Alabama: hundreds; Indiana: thousands; Kansas: >100; Maryland: hundreds; North Carolina: 50-75+ (Kauffman pers. comm.); Nebraska: 25-50+; New York: 16; South Carolina: thousands; Tennessee: 73+ (Brumback and Mehrhoff 1996, APSU 1999).

Since this is such a common species throughout much of its range, these numbers can only be estimates. Additional information on species distribution and the number of populations can be gleaned from county occurrence dot maps (USDA-NRCS 1999).

Population Size Comments: Typical number of individuals per population is 10-100 stems (Young pers. comm., Kauffman pers. comm.), or even thousands (Pearson pers. comm.); typically small, scattered populations, though occasionally several hundred stems observed (Schotz pers. comm.). Note that localized multi-stem patches may represent numerous physiologically independent individual trees all descended clonally from the same original seed (Morse pers. comm.).

Overall Threat Impact Comments: There is indirect evidence from West Virginia and Tennessee, obtained from reliable sources, that collecting occurs from wild populations for the plant trade. Typically the fruits are collected and sold at local markets, either fresh or as preserves (Blakley pers. comm., Suggs pers. comm., Kauffman pers. comm., Hardy pers. comm., Freeman pers. comm.). Collection of material for the medicinal trade is apparently not common, though there exists a potential market for this species in the near future due to purported anti-cancer properties (Suggs pers. comm.). In Tennessee, this plant is collected from the wild and sold as nursery stock (Warren Co. Nursery).

A person knowledgable about the herbal medicinal trade says that the plant is not in commerce for medicinal purposes (M. McGuffin pers. comm.).

Habitat conversion and urban/rural development are significant direct threats (Homoya pers. comm., Pittman pers. comm., Young pers. comm., Schotz pers. comm., Freeman pers. comm., Steinauer pers. comm., Kunsman pers. comm.). Equally significant threats include habitat fragmentation and displacement by exotic species (Homoya pers. comm., Penskar pers. comm., Frye pers. comm., Steinauer pers. comm.).

Short-term Trend Comments:

In New York and elsewhere, development pressure may be causing a decline in frequency and abundance (Young pers. comm., Schotz pers. comm.). This species may be increasing in Indiana and other portions of its range due to resistance to otherwise intensive deer browsing (Homoya pers. comm.). It appears to be stable in Kansas (Freeman pers. comm.). Monitoring would be necessary in order to determine whether species is stable or declining.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Eastern North America, from central and western New York (Young pers. comm.) and Ontario west to Wisconsin (USDA-NRCS 1999), southern Iowa (Pearson pers. comm.), eastern Kansas (Freeman pers. comm.) and Nebraska (Kartesz 1999); south to Texas, Louisiana and Florida; east to the Carolinas (USDA-NRCS 1999).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AR, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MD, MI, MO, MS, NC, NE, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WI, WV
Canada ON

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
IA Clinton (19045)*, Des Moines (19057)*, Fremont (19071), Jackson (19097)*, Lee (19111), Louisa (19115)*, Muscatine (19139)*, Taylor (19173)*, Van Buren (19177)*
NE Douglas (31055), Johnson (31097)*, Nemaha (31127), Otoe (31131)*, Richardson (31147), Sarpy (31153), Washington (31177)
NJ Burlington (34005)*, Essex (34013), Gloucester (34015), Hunterdon (34019), Mercer (34021), Monmouth (34025)
NY Chautauqua (36013), Erie (36029), Livingston (36051), Monroe (36055), Niagara (36063), Orleans (36073)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
02 Hackensack-Passaic (02030103)+, Raritan (02030105)+, Middle Delaware-Musconetcong (02040105)+, Crosswicks-Neshaminy (02040201)+, Lower Delaware (02040202)+
04 Chautauqua-Conneaut (04120101)+, Cattaraugus (04120102)+, Buffalo-Eighteenmile (04120103)+, Oak Orchard-Twelvemile (04130001)+, Lower Genesee (04130003)+
07 Apple-Plum (07060005)+*, Maquoketa (07060006)+*, Copperas-Duck (07080101)+*, Flint-Henderson (07080104)+, Lower Iowa (07080209)+*, Lower Des Moines (07100009)+, Bear-Wyaconda (07110001)+*
10 Big Papillion-Mosquito (10230006)+, Keg-Weeping Water (10240001)+*, Nishnabotna (10240004)+, Tarkio-Wolf (10240005)+, Little Nemaha (10240006)+*, Big Nemaha (10240008)+*, Platte (10240012)+*, Upper Grand (10280101)+*
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A shrub or small tree, to 10 meters tall; clonal growth by underground shoots; leaves simple, alternate, glabrous; buds are naked.
Ecology Comments: Fruiting in this species appears to be rather intermittent and infrequent (Schafale pers. comm., Rock pers. comm., Pittman pers. comm., Penskar pers. comm.); occasionally abundant fruit are produced in parts of its range (Kunsman pers. comm.). Fruit production may be more abundant and frequent in the northern portion of its range (Kauffman pers. comm., Schotz pers. comm., Pittman pers. comm.). Feral hogs are known to consume the fruits of pawpaw (Pittman pers. comm.).
Habitat Comments: This species is found in rich, mesic alluvial or floodplain forests, bottomlands and on wooded slopes near streams (Kauffman pers. comm., Rock pers. comm., Schotz pers. comm., Schafale pers. comm., Freeman pers. comm.). In the southeast coastal plain and piedmont, it is known to occur in brownwater levee forests in the coastal plain, piedmont bottomlands, piedmont basic mesic forests, and rich cove forests (Schafale pers. comm.).
Economic Attributes
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Economically Important Genus: Y
Commercial Importance: Indigenous crop, Minor cash crop
Economic Uses: FOOD, MEDICINE/DRUG
Production Method: Cultivated, Wild-harvested
Economic Comments: There exists a potential market for this species in the near future due to purported anti-cancer properties and as an insecticide (Suggs pers. comm.).

Prices for this species were found as follows:

Central Tennessee, nursery: $1.25/12" sapling (collected from wild and sold in bundles of 50)

Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Typically occurrences along the same stretch of a stream or river corridor are grouped into one population (Young pers. comm.).
Separation Barriers: These populations are separated by uplands and developed areas.
Date: 03Jan2000
Author: Boetsch, J.R.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 03Jan2000
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: John R. Boetsch (1/00); rev. Eric Nielsen and Larry Morse (1/00)

Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • APSU Center for Field Biology and University of Tennessee Herbarium. 1999. October 6-last update. Atlas of Tennessee Vascular Plants. Online. Available: http://www.bio.utk.edu/botany/herbarium/vascular/atlas.html. Accessed 2000-Jan.

  • Argus, G.W., K.M. Pryer, D.J. White and C.J. Keddy (eds.). 1982-1987. Atlas of the Rare Vascular Plants of Ontario.. Botany Division, National Museum of National Sciences, Ottawa.

  • Bowden, W.M. and B. Miller. 1951. Distribution of the Papaw, Asimina triloba (L.) Dunal, in southern Ontario. Can. Field Nat. Vol.65 No. 1. 27-31 pp.

  • Brumback, W.E., and L.J. Mehrhoff. 1996. Flora Conservanda: New England. The New England Plant Conservation Program list of plants in need of conservation. Rhodora 98 (895): 235-361.

  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 1997. Flora of North America north of Mexico. Vol. 3. Magnoliophyta: Magnoliidae and Hamamelidae. Oxford Univ. Press, New York. xxiii + 590 pp.

  • Fox, W.S. and J.H. Soper. 1952. The Distribution of some trees and shrubs of the Carolinian Zone of Southern Ontario. Part 1. Transactions of the Royal Canadian Institute 29(Part 2): 67-84.

  • Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York. 910 pp.

  • Holmgren, Noel. 1998. The Illustrated Companion to Gleason and Cronquist's Manual. Illustrations of the Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York.

  • House, Homer D. 1924. Annotated list of the ferns and flowering plants of New York State. New York State Museum Bulletin 254:1-758.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.

  • Mitchell, Richard S. and Ernest O. Beal. 1979. Magnoliaceae to Ceratophyllaceae of New York State. New York State Museum Bulletin 435, 62 pp.

  • Rhoads, Ann F. and Timothy A. Block. 2005. Trees of Pennsylvania. A Complete Reference Guide. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, PA.

  • Soper, J.H. and M.L. Heimburger. 1982. Shrubs of Ontario. Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto. 495 pp.

  • Thompson, R.J. 1994. Asimina triloba Status Report. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Simcoe. (pages unnumbered)

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service. 1999. November 3-last update. The PLANTS database. Online. Available: http://plants.usda.gov/plants. Accessed 2000-Jan.

  • Waldron, G. 1986. Yes we have no bananas. The Egret 3(4):15-18.

  • Weldy, T. and D. Werier. 2010. New York flora atlas. [S.M. Landry, K.N. Campbell, and L.D. Mabe (original application development), Florida Center for Community Design and Research http://www.fccdr.usf.edu/. University of South Florida http://www.usf.edu/]. New York Flora Association http://wwws.nyflora.org/, Albany, New York

  • Wormington, A. 2001. Pawpaw at Point Pelee. Point Pelee Natural History News 1(1): 3.

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