Height: Essentially a small shrub; the dwarf pawpaw tree rarely reaches more than 5 feet in height
Lifespan: Surprisingly long for such a small tree; 80 to 120 years
Fall Foliage: Yellow; unremarkable
Range: The southeastern United States, from Virginia to Texas
Typical Habitat: Forests as well as open areas with sandy soils
The Dwarf Pawpaw Tree: The Paw Paw in Miniature
The dwarf pawpaw tree is very similar to the common pawpaw (Asimina triloba), as well as the other members of the genus. In fact, most of the differences relate to size, with the dwarf pawpaw having smaller leaves, flower, and fruit than the common pawpaw.
Dwarf Pawpaw Identification: Tips & Tricks
The dwarf pawpaw is unlikely to be confused with any other trees, save for the common pawpaw. In fact, you’re more likely to confuse it with a shrub than a tree, given its small size.
To distinguish it from the common pawpaw, just note the leaf length.
Dwarf pawpaws have leaves that are about 4 to 7 inches in length, while the common pawpaw’s leaves are usually at least 5 inches long, and sometimes as long as 11.
The common pawpaw also reaches much larger sizes, sometimes reaching 30 feet, while the dwarf pawpaw only occasionally exceeds 5 feet in height.
The Dwarf Pawpaw: Additional Information
Still need more information about this diminutive darling of a tree? Check out these high-quality resources to learn more:
- North Carolina State Extension: Likely the best general resource on the plant, it provides a quick-reference chart and several high-quality images.
- Virginia Tech Dendrology: Primarily identification information, but it also provides a range map and several photographs.
- Carolina Nature: A relatively brief resource, but it provides several helpful photographs and habitat notes.