Pawpaw Varieties


thanks to @tonyOmahaz5 for sharing some notes on pawpaw for my next planting.Think I’m settling going with Shenandoah.

But putting this out there as future reference for others and myself.

Ohio PawPaw festival Best PawPaw Contest (I would love to know the missing results for 2016 and 2015.
First Place, Variety: Bennie’s Favorite (Homebreed), AJ Lehman
Second Place: Open pollinated Atwood, Mark Lehman
Third Place: Green Gem, Justin Woodruff
First Place: Jerry’s Big Girl, Jerry Lehman, Terre Haute, IN
Second Place: Shenandoah, George Hale, Columbus, OH
Third Place: Berkeley, Joe Kostka, Natrona Heights, PA
1st place: Deanna Powell, Variety: Lynn’s Favorite
2nd place: Barb Lehman , Variety: 275-48
3rd place: Mark Lehman , Variety: 250-30
1st place: Jerry Lehman, variety 250-39
2nd place: Barbara Lehman, variety 250-48
3rd place: Maddy Singh, variety IXL
1st: Jerry Lehman, variety: #cu 166-13|
2nd: Dick Glaser, variety: Overleese|
3rd: Dick Glaser, variety: Shenandoah|
1st: Deanna Powell for Overleese
2nd: Charles Colgate for NCI Harvest Gold Butter Sweet
3rd: Dick Glaser for Shawnee Trail
1st: Sunflower, Charles Colgate
2nd: Scooby, Andy Campbell
3rd: Marina, Kelly Bock

Brix References:
Hi 4-1 is KSU Chappelle and Hi 7-5 is KSU Benson according to an FB post. Not sure what hi1-4 or 7-1 are. Article
Only nonKSU reference point: Sunflower - (8.58 seed percentage (highest)
KSU Chappelle - Brix 25.64 (highest), 4.39 Seed percentage,
KSU Bensen - Brix 19.67 (lowest)
separate article with atwood

Jay Little’s Excel Spreadsheet on Paw Paw varieties.

FB post on PawPaw fanclub on tasting notes by Tony Levri. Preserving for future reference

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 didn’t pay particular attention to textures with these fruits, mostly noting that Shenandoah was softer and creamy, Susquehanna was firmer, and the others were somewhere in between. I know that the Mango variety is known to have a softer, pudding-like texture. One of my favorite wild trees has fruits on the extreme softer end that have a texture like wet pudding or (for a better descriptor) a very soft, juicy, non-fibrous mango.

Another reference for tasting


Pawpaw blooming.


Are you going to hand pollinate them to ensure fruits set?


I actually wrote most of that post on this thread first (scroll up to post 182) and just copied and pasted onto the pawpaw fanclub page when someone wanted opinions on some varieties. I’m glad people appreciate my opinions.
I would have named myself Tony_westPA on here but there were already a few notable Tony’s on this forum already so I’d rather not cause confusion.


I will try hopefully they’re bearing fruits this year.I just relocated them before Winter.
How many Pawpaw trees you have and how big Tony ?


Flies pollinated my pawpaw trees for me.


At what point is the paw paw pollen not viable, when it turns that darker color?


I got a total of eight paw paw trees but the 4 multi grafted are oldest at 8 years of age. I yearly pruned them to 8 feet tall and 6 feet wide in early Spring.



Check out this thread. Post # 42 is when a member @misoo83 posted his video about stages of pawpaw flowers.

Pollinating Pawpaw flowers.

Also the pic of a fish head stuck on a pawpaw tree to attract flies was quite hilarious. We’ll do anything for cross pollination!!!


I collected and froze pollen from an NC-1 and Sunflower.The trees died a couple years ago.
This year,an Overleese is getting hand pollinated with that seed.Maybe it will


Good luck, hope it works.

I hand pollinated my Penn Golden pawpaw about one week ago but it didn’t look like any baby paw paws started growing. I went back to my neighbors house and got more pollen and tried again last night and I think I’ll try again this weekend. I did the same thing I did last year with the hand pollination and got 6 paw paws last year. Hopefully some take this year.

I grafted three different types onto the tree earlier in the spring and have a seedling growing next to it. The grafts seemed like they all took so that’s promising.


My pawpaw planting about 5 ft from the house. Do you think her root be OK for the house foundation Tony?


The taste of different varieties of pawpaw is big difference or all most the same ? How do you think about NC1 and Sunflower tasting?


Ah roger. I tried searching bit I didn’t see the that pop up in my initial search.

It’s good to connect the dots with who wrote it though. :smile: If someone was to ask you now that time has passed, would you still hold those same opinions? Any change?


I still feel mostly the same about those opinions.
I think I appreciate the flavor profile of Allegheny more, the more that I think about it. It is a great example of what I think a good general pawpaw flavor should taste like and what I would want to give to someone should they ask what a pawpaw tastes like. Shenandoah is great for introducing pawpaw to people since it is more mild and familiar tasting but doesn’t actually taste that much like a pawpaw. It is great though and I value it for it’s uniqueness and ease of eating.
Susquehanna is still probably my favorite that I tasted since I like the strong, tropical, fruity flavors that it has… but maybe Allegheny is tied the more I think about it haha. NC-1 was also a very good pawpaw, I just didn’t prefer it to the previous ones because I don’t prefer pawpaws with stronger banana-like flavors.
Maybe I was too harsh on PA-Golden but, eh… it was like a mildly bitter/worse version of NC-1. It was still good, but didn’t impress me compared to the others or even some wild pawpaws I’ve tried. I’d kill for a fresh PA-Golden at this time of year though, haha.


I know you asked Tony but, in my opinion, they can vary in flavor just as much as different apple varieties can. I think there’s more complexity to them than most apples. That’s just my opinion though. I know of people who think they all taste the same.


I like Sunflower also. It reminded of our wild soursop “Mang Cau Ruong” in Vietnam. The fruits are fairly large. I may have to thin lots of fruits on my Shenandoah and Susquehanna because both trees are loaded with flowers.





It help me a lot because I have not tasted them yet. Thank you so much Tony.


Btw, I think you will be ok plant them at 5 feet from the house.


Your trees are very good size. How big when you plant them? I ordered a couple Mitchell and Pennsylvania golden from Raintree they send me just a pencil size. Maybe will take ten years to fruit.