Pawpaw People Weigh In

Yes, get on the scale, lol.

I tell ya what… I’ve been grafting pawpaws given to me from Kentucky University and after grafting ‘Overleese’, ‘Sunflower’, and ‘NC-1’ I have two varieties left I have not grafted: ‘Taylor’ & ‘Taytwo’.

Honestly, I hope to sell these. After I cut the scions they sent into pieces I was short so I asked for more of the three mentioned above.

Would any of you who know more about them than I do graft ‘Taylor’ and ‘Taytwo’ or would you graft (to sell) the other three above?

Thank you,


Of the ones you have, I’ve heard Overleese tastes the best, followed by Taytoo then NC-1. But I cannot corroborate this with experience. Just what I’ve read. Never even heard of Taylor.

@Matt_in_Maryland Thanks. I’ll graft up a couple of the Taytwo an Taylor but finish up with the others. That’s what I started thinking after my post.


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Overleese gets consensus high praise by reviewers. Some prefer it to the Peterson varieties. I did not mean to include Sunflower or NC 1 as also rans, they generally receive high marks as Strudeldog says below.

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@hambone I’m sorry but what’s a ran? And thanks.


An “also ran” is a competitor that did not win the race, but also ran, as in a track meet. Generally means less than the best.


Alright, thank you.


I respectfully differ that NC-1 and Sunflower are also-runs. I have been impressed with my Sunflower fruit as much as of my others, but all my trees are still young. I lost my NC-1 but want to replace it. Most of what I have seen by folks that have more experience with Pawpaw recommend both as well as Overleese. As I recall both NC-1 and Peterson’s Shenandoah are progeny of Overleese. John Brittain (Nolin River) as well as Peterson’s recommends KSU-Atwood, NC-1, Overleese and Sunflower, and believe they are ones higher evaluated ones by KSU as well. I do think the potential for improved newer cultivars is high. Think how much less work as been done with them than many fruits. Most of our selections are wild selected or 1st or 2nd generation of attempts for improved crosses.








I have only ever had wild paw paws that I collect in a creek near my house. I have found the wild ones worthwhile and am looking forward to my various named varieties reaching fruiting size.

Thank you @strudeldog. ‘NC-1’ is supposed to be very good. If Peterson hadn’t patented Susquehanna, Wabash, & Shenandoah, I’d of grafted those.

A friend is a serious pawpaw enthusiast and his favorites are Susquehanna and Wabash but says Shenandoah is right up there with those. He also thinks highly of NC-1.


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I don’t have Peterson’s Wabash I would have ordered but where I purchased was out when I placed my order. My Potomac from him has lots of blooms right now. I had 2 Susquehanna one failed slowly after 2?3 years and the other just doesn’t grow. I think I have read others have have more problems getting Susquehanna established as well. Any anyput from folks here on that? Hoping mine takes off. My Shenandoah fruited for 1st time last year,

I like NC-1, its also very productive and makes huge fruits. I also like Sunflower a lot, its also big and productive. Overleese is a bit better tasting than these guys but not by much at all, and the fruit is smaller for me.

Maria’s Joy is a step above to me, you should propagate that and Jerry’s other new varieties as he is not patenting them. It is a bit smaller but is sweeter and more flavor than all other varieties I tried.

Last time I looked into it Taytwo was considered a bit more tasty than Taylor. I grafted Taytwo years ago but lost the graft and never replaced it.

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Thanks Scott, for the tip. I will write in my notes right now to ask Jerry for Maria’s Joy come next season.

And, I do appreciate your thoughts on those others.



@strudeldog I too have had many pawpaws fail to thrive, die slowly, remain tiny. This year Annie at Hidden Spring Nursery in Tennessee (a neat small nursery) gave me a tip: if you have competing tree roots where you plant your pawpaws you’ve got a big problem. She said the first couple years while they are establishing you must take a spade and sever competing feeder roots from e.g. oak trees. I have this exact problem- a line of oaks about forty feet away. Their roots are everywhere. This is too big a job for me so I hired a lawn irrigation guy to bring in his machine this week to pull an 18 inch long knife in a semi circle around the young pawpaws. Using a King of Spades shovel after a rain might do the trick too. Hope this tip helps some other folks.



Perhaps there is some credence to that tip, but I find it strange considering pawpaws are naturally understory trees.


Matt- Yes that does seem strange. Pawpaws do though spread by underground roots many times so that would allow the colonizing sprouts to feed off the mother tree’s root system and might reduce the impact of competing hardwoods. What do you think?

My first pawpaws were planed in a ring of wild ditch lily daylilies. Now, that’s real root competition.

They have done fine.


Maybe you’re right!

I am sure competition from nearby plants surely can factor in but the ones I saw slowly weaken and die I was sizing up in tall tree pots as I knew I was moving within a couple years. My first order of Pawpaw was from Hidden Springs which I think was who you are referring to as they are in TN and Annie is one of the owners I believe and either her or the other lady is Hector Blacks daughter I believe. It might have been due to something I did wrong in the pots. The folks at Hidden springs are great people but I think I lost 3 of 4 from them and not really a believer of the manner they bareroot their Pawpaw even though they are container grown. I lost none of the potted plants I purchased from Forrest Kelling or Stark Brothers which I up potted into the same tree pots initially until I planted, and then lost one of my Susquehanna neither which ever seemed to show any vigor at any point. As most my plant fails it probably can be attributed to something I did wrong but I know others have reported better luck with potted Pawpaw. Some of my Pawpaw are planted along a woodland edge that is predominately Black Walnuts and seem to be doing fine although they are pretty close. They are listed as Juglone tolerant and don’t require full sun so I decided to give them a try where not many other fruit trees would tolerate, and so far they are doing as well as any I have. Maybe not ideal planting area but my thought was what other fruiting tree would produce in a partially shaded area and among Black Walnuts.


Anyone know where to buy a “Maria’s Joy” plant or budwood?