‘Down in the Pawpaw Patch’ the tropical fruit of the Ozarks

Already out of fashion by my teens, apparently Missouri’s Department of Conservation and neighboring state universities are trying to bring it back!

Once well known to early explorers and settlers in Missouri, the pawpaw tree (Asimina triloba) is but a faint childhood memory for many. Some who know the old children’s song by heart wouldn’t know a pawpaw tree if they saw one…

The first written description of the pawpaw tree was recorded during DeSoto’s expedition into the Mississippi Valley in 1541. However, fossil records indicate the pawpaw’s ancestors were members of a tropical plant family and were present in North America millions of years before the arrival of humans.

I don’t know the Bros. Stark but they sell ’em.

Here’s a GREAT article (layman’s terms) that tells about all you wanted to know but never knew to ask about pawpaws by Cynthia Andre.

That I can recall, we don’t have any pawpaws on the ranch but they grow nearby. I remember eating them raw as a kid. Dad’ll also bring in The Best Pears of the Universe from an old grove that was planted circa Civil War. Now, it’s buried in the middle of the woods but I can tell you what you already do know: there’s nothing like ripe, directly off the vine/ tree/ shrub freggies!

Gram sang this all.the.time!

Also don’t know this fellow–he appears to be a Northerner–but at least he’s singing a good song AND playing uke.

The wee one reminds me TOO MUCH of Lil Lily.



4 thoughts on “‘Down in the Pawpaw Patch’ the tropical fruit of the Ozarks

  1. Laurie says:

    I liked the articles, first I’ve heard of them. Too bad they can’t market them, they look really good.


  2. Very interesting. We call Papaya fruit ‘Pawpaws’ but they grow on a different sort of plant which would probably need more tropical conditions than round your way.


    • Lily says:

      Right! In Africa, they call papayas, pawpaws, but pawpaws are their own creation–although an ancient tropical tree from when the Ozarks were THE highest mountain range on earth, now they’re the lowest 🙂


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