Is Rappahannock worth growing?


I have all the Peterson varieties except for Rappahannock. I am wondering if I am missing anything since I already have the other cultivars? It seems to be the least popular one. Comments? Thanks

I tasted one last year and thought it was fairly good, however the fruit I got a hold of was tiny. I’d hope they aren’t all that small! If you have space for more, I would recommend Jerry Lehman’s varieties or KSU’s releases over Rappahanock.

Thanks for replying. I already have the three KSU varieties as well :slight_smile: Which ones of Jerry’s do you recommend as top notch? Are they really that much better/different than Peterson and KSU pawpaws to be worth planting even more pawpaw trees? Hehe it’s that time of year :slight_smile:


I grow Rappahannock, and it’s one of my favorites of the ones I’ve tasted. No strong aftertaste and great texture too. It has a different growth habit than most pawpaws, with a lot of upright growth throughout the tree. So it needs more pruning than others to maintain a good shape. The fruit can be large - it needs thinning to keep two or three fruits in each cluster. If you leave more fruit per cluster, the fruit is small, but that’s true of all pawpaws.


I have not tasted any of Jerry’s varieties, but I have Jerry’s Big Girl (250-39) in the ground along with scions for Lehman’s Delight (275-48), Maria’s Joy (166-13), and 250-30 that I’m using to topwork some seedlings next week. Jerry was a very warm and generous person over email, and I can’t believe he has passed. I never expected to get scions in the mail, but his wife Barbara mailed them to me as he had kept them in the fridge, having cut them before his accident. He was encouraging when he heard I was hoping to use his varieties for some breeding:

“That is wonderful news that a man in his 20s is interested in tree crops
and fruit production. And hopefully after you collect some of the best
varieties will do some breeding. All of my material is available for
respective breeding, I claim no copyrights. However nurseries that pay a
royalty are greatly appreciated as it helps cover my costs of orchard
care. And after I depart this world everyone is free to produce and sell
my varieties and no royalties to my heirs.”

I don’t know how much fruit size matters to you, but 250-39, 275-48, and 250-30 have fruits up to 1.5 pounds, so I’m guessing the small ones must be a decent size. I’m not the most knowledgeable about taste and performance, because none of my trees have fruited yet, but all of Jerry’s varieties have been dominating the Ohio Pawpaw Festival so I imagine they are excellent. The Peterson varieties that have placed are Susquehanna and Shenandoah. But I can say the best I have tasted is Summer Delight, a cross of Sunflower and Overleese bred by Cliff England. Very smooth with no aftertaste. It’s supposed to be the earliest pawpaw, dropping even in July. Cliff England also told me Maria’s Joy is one of the best he has tasted, and I trust his opinion because he like me seems to also favor the varieties that are milder with no aftertaste.

You could get a seedling and multi-graft the tree :slight_smile: Either way, you can’t go wrong! I don’t know if England’s Orchard is still shipping because the weather is warming up, but they should be fully stocked up in the fall!


Thanks for history communication with Jerry and characteristics of favorite varieties. I would love to have some scionwoods of pawpaw you’ve written about. But I live faraway in Ukraine and cant find cuttings home of such variaties as: Maria’s Joy, Summer Delight, Lehman’s Delight etc. Tell me please, excluding nurseries, who could send scion cuttings across the ocean by international shipping? thank you

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Check with nurseries in Canada. There are no shipping restrictions that I know of (to Europe.)


You can order these from Pavel Rézl in the Czech Republic I think


Thanks, i’l try

Good. And didn’t you know mail by accident? Thanks.

Here is a list of nurseries that you can check with them! Hopefully you can find some of those varieties! Good luck.


British Columbia

Nova Scotia







The Netherlands




Thanks you. i’ll try somewhere to search! is his website

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