Netted Pawpaw, Beach Botany

20

Netted Pawpaw, Asimina reticulata, is a perennial branched woody shrub that grows from a tap root. Several stems grow to a height of 4’ to 6’. Leaves are alternate on the branches. Leathery leaves are oblong to elliptic 2” to 4” long. Leaf tips are pointed. Margins are entire. Leaf venation pinnate.

The plant’s calyx has three green sepals supporting a white-colored corolla with six petals. There are three white outer petals and three green inner petals. The flowers hang downward. The inner petals are closed until pollination. Then inner leaves open exposing several stamens. Flowers are fragrant. Flowers occur in the leaf axils. The inflorescence would be solitary. Fruit is an ellipsoid berry that is chewed on by animals.

Reticulata is common in the State. Habitats are mesic flatwoods, scrubs, sand hills and dry prairies. Plant family is Annonaceae, Custard family. There are ten species including Reticulata, in the Genus, Asimina, all native. The specimen in the picture was taken in the Hickey Creek Preserve.