View Full Version : Asimina pygmea

06-15-2010, 08:34 AM
There was a tiny bit of discussion regarding this plant some time ago. All the digging and research still left me without the info I was seeking SO, taking it all in, and finding no toxic species in Asimina genus, I went ahead and tried some of the fruit.

According to the info about the regular pawpaw tree, you pick the fruits while still green and set them aside to ripen for a few days, sort of like you do a banana.

So I did just that. While it was only a small sample (as any taste test should be) I thought it would be enough to be representative of the fruit, so here's my review!

The pods contain seeds, very similar to peas, but clear and with clear pulp and a very tiny seed inside. It reminded me of pomegranate when I bit into one, but it had very little taste. Lots of juice, but not much taste. There is also a "rind" of sorts, or maybe it's called something else, but it was much more tasty than the beans inside, and eating the two together proved to be a delicious treat.

This is another ancient foodsource native to this continent. It has been found in the local archaeological record and was most definately a food of the Native Americans. For all it's similarities to it's larger counterpart, I would say that any recipe or preparation you find for the pawpaw fruit from the tree would apply to this handsome shrub as well.
Many are still in bloom, and many are fruiting and this sample makes me want more! After the taste test and a waiting period of 24 hours to check for ill effects, I ate the rest of the sample. I would have to say that these dwarf pawpaws are safe to eat, even though information about this particular species is limited and if you eat the pulp too, they are quite delicious.

06-15-2010, 08:54 AM
YCC,I have never heard of a dwarf pawpaw,so I did a little research on them,and found those are also called a gopher apple,and are edible.


06-15-2010, 10:30 PM
THANK YOU SO MUCH!! If only I had known to look for gopher apple, I'd have found what I was looking for. This is the dilemma you run into using generic common names. I will be eating more of these (conservatively of course) in weeks to come. Very tasty! Thanks again!

07-09-2010, 05:23 AM
Just an update. I had to check a job down at the lake on Wednesday and it was only a few miles from the new public area. I found quite a few ripe paw-paws so I picked a few off each plant and wound up with about two handfulls. They are ripening now but a few of them were just right on the plants. A little squishy but still firm. I popped one open and dug in, and I think that if you catch them just right on the plant, they would make an excellent trail snack. I would guess the water content to be somewhere around 40% (most of it is in the "peas") and they are a little sweeter than if you age them off the bush.
So after eating a handful, with no ill effects, I'm certain, now, that this plant is safe to eat, and my opinion is that it makes an excellent wild food this time of year in my area.
When I originally posted this, most of them were still in flower. You see now, how long it takes for the pods to mature.

On a side note, I also picked some ripe yucca fruits. The only thing I can say about these is YUM!!

07-09-2010, 06:36 AM
Our paw paws here are big,only one or two at most to make a handful! They will not be ripe until late August or September.

07-09-2010, 08:02 AM
Great thread both of you. I gave both some rep. Adding to the common knowledge of the group is what it's all about. Nice job!!