Maria’s Joy Pawpaw
Bred by Jerry Lehman of Terre Haute, Indiana, Maria’s Joy Pawpaw produces medium to large sized fruit that are kidney-shaped with yellow flesh. A Davis x Prolific cross Maria’s Joy produces good crops annually with fruit averaging between 8 to 14 ounces. A well-known fruit author remarked it was the best tasting pawpaw he ever tasted. It also won the Ohio Pawpaw Festival’s “Biggest Pawpaw Contest” in 2012.
Pawpaws (Asimina triloba) are one of the most unique and delicious fruits that can be grown in the backyard orchard. Native to eastern North America, pawpaws are the only member of the Annonaceae, or custard apple family, that is adapted to temperate climates. Its tropical relatives include the cherimoya, atemoya, guanabana, and soursop, and it is easy to see the resemblance between the pawpaw fruit and that of its tropical cousins. Pawpaw fruit combines delectable, fruity, banana-like flavor with creamy, custard-like flesh. Nutritious as well as delicious, the greenish yellow, 3″-6″ long fruit is unusually high in protein and is a good source of vitamins and minerals. Everything about this plant, from its leaf size and shape to the way its fruits look, taste and smell is tropical, yet it is cold hardy to zone 5 and can be grown in temperate climates from coast to coast. A slow growing, small tree, Pawpaw is naturally disease and pest resistant and features long, tropical-looking foliage that turns a striking bright yellow in the fall. The largest native American fruit, Pawpaw was a significant part of the Native American diet, and with our superior large-fruited varieties, is enjoying new popularity.
Click here for our Pawpaw growing guide.
Latin Name: Asimina triloba
Site and Soil: Pawpaw likes 1/2 day to full sun and well-drained soil.
Pollination Requirements: Plant two varieties or a combination of seedlings and varieties for cross-pollination.
Hardiness: Maria’s Joy Pawpaw is hardy to minus 20º F. or below.
Bearing Age: 2-3 years after planting.
Size at Maturity: 12-15 ft. in height
Bloom Time: April
Ripening Time: September-October
Yield: 30+ lbs.
Pests & Diseases: Pawpaw is not bothered by pests or diseases.
USDA Zone: 5
Sunset Western Zone: 2-9, 14, 18-21
Sunset Northeast Zone: 31, 32, 34-41