Plant taxonomists generally agree that there are fourteen species of the Annonaceae family native to the United States mainland. These include nine Asimina species (see Table 1 for descriptions of Asimina species and Table 2 for their nomenclature), two Deeringothamnus species (Kral, 1960; Kral, 1983), and three Annona species (Small, 1913; Wunderlin, 1982). Recent taxonomic descriptions maybe found in works by Kral (1983) and Godfrey (1988) and need not be repeated here. Asimina triloba is the species possessing the most economically promising fruit; however, other species may prove quite useful as ornamentals, food plants for wild game, sources of genes for the improvement of A. triloba, and sources of chemicals used in the manufacture of insecticides. William Bartram, the famous 18th century explorer, described the fruit of A. incarna as having a very delicious yellow pulp. Fruit of other species are generally described as being edible but not pleasant.
Bowden (1948) found all species except A. longifolia (which wasn’t included in his study) to contain (2N=2X=) 18 chromosomes. Commercially important tropical “cousins” of Asimina are placed in the genus Annona and usually contain (2N=2X=) 16 chromosomes (Bowden, 1948).
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- The Pawpaw (Asimina triloba)
- Miscellaneous Uses
- Research Needs
- Table 1. Descriptions for Species of Asimina Native to the United States Mainland
- Table 2. Nomenclature of Asimina Species
- Table 3. Pawpaw Cultivars
- Table 4. Traits to be Considered When Selecting Pawpaws
- Figure 1. Distribution of Asimina triloba in the United States
- Figure 2. Distribution of Asimina Species Native to Extreme Southeastern United States
- Figure 3. Distribution of Asimina parviflora in the United States