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Pawpaw

SCIENTIFIC NAME(S): Asimina triloba (L.) Dunal. Family: Annonaceae (Sometimes confused with Carica Papaya.)

COMMON NAME(S): Pawpaw, custard apple, poor man's banana

History

One source states that pawpaw was introduced to the US in 1736. It was used as food for the Native Americans. The thin, fibrous, inner bark has been used to make fish nets. The bark also was used as medicine because it contains useful alkaloids.

Botany :- The pawpaw is a small, North American tree, which grows from about 3 to 12 m high. It is common in the temperate woodlands of the eastern US. Its large leaves are "tropical looking" and droopy in nature. The dark brown, velvety flowers (about 5 cm across) grow in umbrella-like whorls, similar to some magnolia species, and can bloom for up to 6 weeks. Pawpaw fruit is smooth-skinned, yellow to greenish­brown in color, measuring from about 8 to 15 cm long. It can reach up to 045 kg in weight. It resembles that of a short, thick banana, and also is similar in nutrient value. The yellow, soft, "custard­like" pulp is edible but sickly sweet in flavor and contains dark seeds.

Uses of Pawpaw

Pawpaw has historically been used for food, fishing nets, and medicine. It exhibits cytotoxic and pesticidal activities.

Side Effects of Pawpaw

May cause contact dermatitis in certain people.

Toxicology

Handling the fruit may produce a skin rash in sensitive individuals.

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