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Weed Identification




Scientific Name

Asimina triloba

Other Common Names:

banana tree
Hoosier banana
Nebraska banana
custard apple
false banana
Indiana banana
custard banana
poor man s banana
white plum.
Michigan banana
pawpaw apple




The drooping, pear-shaped leaves are alternate, from 10 to 30 cm long, with smooth margins and pointed tips. The leaves are coated with fine whitish hairs on the upper surface with rusty-colored hairs on the under-side. Leaves are aromatic, with a smell reminiscent of bell pepper.

Identifying Characteristics

Custard-apple or Annona family (Annonaceae). This perennial tree or shrub grows from 3 to 12 m tall.The deciduous leaves turn bright yellow before dropping in the fall.Pawpaws grow in humid climates and are highly frost tolerant. They grow in the shade in open woods usually in wet, fertile bottomlands, but can grow in upland areas on rich soils.

Flower Seed Head

Inconspicuous but interesting flowers (4 to 5cm in diameter) with 3 sepals, are green upon opening and turn to dark purple or maroon in color. From 1 to 4 flowers grow in the leaf axils before leafing, usually in April or May. The six velvety petals (2cm-2.5cm long) are stiff and curl slightly backwards.

Seed Fruit

Yellowish green to brown, cylindrical, mango-shaped fruits are 7-16 cm long and grow solitarily or 2 to 4 together. The large fruits (5 to 16 ounces) ripen between August and October. Fruits have a thin skin, which contain a yellow custard-like pulp that is said to taste like papaya. Some varieties contain a whitish-green pulp that is less flavorful. Fruits contain several flat 2cm long seeds.

Where Found

This plant grows over much of Eastern North America from Ontario and Michigan south to Florida and Texas.

Growth Habit

woody bush or tree

Thorns or Spines

not present

Approximate Flower Diameter

half dollar

Dominant Flower Color


Flower Symmetry

radial symmetery

Leaf Hairs

no hairs

Leaf Shape


Leaf Arrangement


Leaf Margin


Leaf Structure


Leaf Stalk

shorter than leaf

Stem Hairs

has hairs

Stem Cross Section

round or oval

Milky Sap

not present

Root Structure


Life Cycle



not present

Plant Type