Monday, May 12, 2008
This odd, maroon colored flower is the "PawPaw" to which the childhood song "Pickin' up PawPaws... put 'em in a basket" refers. Botanists know it as Asimina triloba although it is known by various names like "Ozark Banana" and "Poor Man's Banana". It is a small tree that prefers rich, river bottom land. I found this one on a nature trail alongside the Rappahannock River. The flower, which appears to be carved from wax, is supposed to have a fetid odor as it is pollinated by flies although this one seemed odorless to me. The fruit is supposed to taste like a combo of banana, mango and pineapple although wild trees are stripped of their fruit by animals long before it's ripe.