Pawpaw Varieties


Mango is a good variety but is very soft fleshed and thus needs to be eaten very soon after harvesting or processed. It does not hold up well. And it should also be harvested from the tree instead of the ground because of its very soft flesh. It bruises very easily. It can have a good flavor and its fruits can get quite large though I would say most are in the medium range. I have a close friend that likes mango above all others he has tried.



Have you try the Kentucky Champion Pawpaw. My seedling tree from. @Bradybb Brady is about 7 feet tall and hopefully it will have some flower buds so I can hand pollinate it. The fruit suppose to be big and tasty.


The photos are from Cliff.




As someone who greatly appreciates detailed flavor profiles of different varieties of fruits, I’ll leave my opinions here of the named varieties I’ve tried.
I went to a pawpaw festival in York, PA last year and got to try some named varieties for the first time. Had some named varieties at the Ohio festival a few years ago but they weren’t labeled so I didn’t know what they were. I’ve also tasted a lot of local wild pawpaws over the past 3 years.
I typically taste 3 main flavors in a pawpaw: banana, melon/cantaloupe, and a tropical fruity flavor that reminds me of tutti-frutti or bubblegum. (I’ll just call this flavor: fruity) Some seem to call that flavor mango but I never really taste mango. Most wild pawpaws I’ve tasted in western PA are a combination of banana and cantaloupe flavors with a small amount of fruity flavor.
I took notes on the varieties I tried from the York festival and here is what I wrote:

Shenandoah - creamy texture, mildly flavored though still very good, not too much banana flavor, banana & fruity flavors are subtle, no melon flavor, has a vanilla flavor to it that makes it taste a lot like vanilla pudding
NC-1 - banana/cantaloupe, flavorful, tastes like most wild pawpaws though a good version of those, not much fruity flavor, a lot of banana flavor, fairly strongly flavored overall
Susquehanna - very sweet, firmer, smooth texture with light orange color, a lot of fruity flavor, a bit of cantaloupe flavor, hardly any banana flavor
PA-Golden - tastes similar to most wild pawpaws (banana/melon), has noticeable bitterness to pulp, especially near the seeds, not as good as the better wild ones I’ve tasted
Allegheny - difficult to pin down in terms of flavor. Came to the conclusion that it has a very well balanced mix of all 3 flavors (cantaloupe/banana/fruity). Hard to taste any 1 flavor distinctly. Some bites did have a stronger cantaloupe flavor to them

Looking back at this, my conclusions are that:
Shenandoah is more uniquely flavored than most, more mild than most, easy to eat, and generally pleasing.
NC-1 is a typically flavored pawpaw that is good for those who like the ones that are more strongly banana flavored.
Susquehanna is a good for those who like a sweeter, richer, and more tropical flavored pawpaw.
PA-Golden isn’t one that I would recommend for flavor due to it’s bitterness and NC-1 tasting like a better version of it’s flavor profile.
Allegheny has a well-balanced flavor profile. I wish more wild ones tasted like this, since the banana flavors tend to dominate, but with Allegheny the melon and fruity flavors shine through better.



I hope you keep going to tasting events!

Excellent way to evaluate pawpaws. Very helpful. Susq. wins lots of praise. Allegheny sounds promising. It died here years ago while very young. Hoping for a stick or two of scionwood if anyone has it (and I send Neal a royalty fee).

Others whose description promises fruity: Kentucky Champion; KSU Benson; KSU Chappelle; Tallahatchie. Greenriver Belle and TayTwo- both get mixed reviews, same for KSU Atwood. Who has tasted these?

Neal Peterson told me none of his varieties are known for “melon” taste but said Overleese does have some melon in it. That helped me figure out my plans. I love that melon overtone.



Yes, Susquehanna is probably my favorite that I’ve tried so far. It’s like a dessert. Allegheny really impressed me. I feel like it has a good standard pawpaw flavor. I had such a hard time trying to pick the flavors apart when eating those because they just blended together so well.

I may be able to send you an Allegheny scion this spring. Not sure if I’ll have much to take off of that one, but I’ll let you know. I’m looking to trade or buy scionwood if you have anything available. The list is in my profile description.

That’s interesting that Overleese has a melon taste, I thought it would be similar to Shenandoah. I enjoy the melon ones as well, more than the banana types. Most taste like cantaloupe to me but I’ve had a few wild ones that tasted more like honeydew. I’ve also tasted a few that had some concord grape flavor to them, which was pretty nice. I’ve heard that Wabash has some of that grape flavor to it.


The descriptions of Wabash are all over the map: “Rich” then “Mild.” How can it be both? Seems to be consensus that it tastes a LOT like Shenandoah, i.e. mild. That plus Neal saying none of his have melon leads to me to say no to Wabash.


I have been to three KSU tastings, two of which I took notes, and the Ohio pawpaw festival twice
Kentucky Champion I have not tasted this one yet, but I did order a tree from Cliff England
KSU Benson I dont think it is as good as the Susquehanna but it is up there. I loved it the first time when it was still called 7-5. The second time I noted a bitter aftertaste, but I think it just may have been off that year or maybe I got a little of the skin’s flavor. Either way I liked it enough to buy one when it was released.
KSU Chappelle I tried this at least twice when it was 4-1 and noted caramel in it’s flavor profile at least one of those years. Again, I was impressed enough
Tallahatchie I tasted it in icecream without knowing it was this specific cultivar. I wish I had paid more attention to it but I do know that the ice cream was good enough that I ordered a tree.
Green river Belle Never tried it, but I did order scionwood for it this year.
TayTwo I planted a tree but havent had fruit to try yet.
KSU Atwood I believe I tried it at one tasting and liked it, although not as much the cultivar believed to be it’s seed parent, Susquehanna. I did end up buying a tree though. The second tasting that featured it I must not have liked it, I noted that it must have been under ripe.


Here are pictures of my notes, keep in mind that I wasn’t as careful about trying to be detailed. It was more of a “was this good or not” thought process. The first KSU tasting that I went to had the rating system. The second did not and the third I just wrote on my napkin. I believe that I abbreviated the cultivar cawood to caw and I dont know what Haz was an abbreviation of. At the time of that first KSU tasting I had only tasted wild fruit and only knew the names of pawpaw trees sold by Starkbros and Burnt Ridge. Finding out about a KSU pawpaw tasting was like hitting the jackpot that year

Edit, the upload for well’s page didnt work


You’ve got some of the best newcomers. Would love to get Chappelle whenever you can spare a cutting in future.

We need to send people to all the pawpaw festivals to taste and report. Sure it will be biased by personal taste but I’ll take it over scouring literature for the tiniest clues.


My biggest one is about half that tall.Do yours get fed,some kind of nuclear fertilizer?bb


You got it Brady. It called Urea Nitrogen 46-0-0. about 30 white granules spreaded around the base of the tree and watered until they all dissolved every ten days and stop around the July first. This apply to Jujubes, vegetables, and young grafted Persimmons for a fast flush green growth. You should try it. UN is inexpensive.



@tonyOmahaz5 Do you start fertilizing pawpaw before growth starts?


Right at buds swell.


I’ve looked at Trocal Treat on England’s site. I figure I can put in 1 more and am being pretty selective. I will pull the trigger next fall, most likely. (To plant in 2020)

Anyone tried this one?



I have not tried it, but someone who has said it has a bitter aftertaste. If you have space for only one, see if you can get 250-39 from Cliff. It’s bred by Jerry Lehman and has been named Jerry’s Big Girl. It’s won best tasting and largest pawpaw at the Ohio festival multiple years. I got one from him this past fall and hope it made it through the winter okay.

After I read this snippet about it, I was sold!


You need to graft other varieties onto it for cross pollination.


Thanks, Tony! I’ve been following your advice the past few years, using the urea nitrogen on my pawpaws and other fruit trees each spring. They have responded well to it.
Last year my pawpaws grew really quickly for about a month in late spring then stalled out early-mid summer and stopped growing. My Prok persimmon did the opposite and didn’t start growing till mid summer then just exploded with growth.


I need to stay off this forum. Y’all make these fruits sound so good.

I’m going to try to grow Sunflower, Mango, and Shenandoah in 12 inch raised beds with morning sun/afternoon shade in my part of Texas. I can’t find much about them growing successfully anywhere near Dallas, but this is one of the few no spray/few pest fruits out there that I don’t have.


This last pawpaw would by my 6th.

I was leaning towards Mango (I have a few of the milder/lighter colored types). I have 3 peterson’s varieties, 2 Shenandoah and I think a Rappahannok. A couple of mine are just seedling types. One of my Peterson trees was damaged and never really did much thereafter.



Bravo for that article on pawpaw tasting. How did you find it?

I google “pawpaw taste test results” and get very little back.

Where are all the festival tasting results? I can’t seem to find them.