Stark Bros Pennsylvania Golden PawPaw

Stark Bros currently has Pennsylvania Golden PawPaw for $18.16. That’s a good price for a grafted pawpaw if you are already ordering something anyway to defray shipping. I ordered Mango from them this Spring for the same price and was pleased with it. They are small, in the 1-2’ range. I would get this if I had other things to order!

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Thats a good bargain on a more cold tolerant pawpaw than many of them are.

Also, I said they are small, but in my experience that’s a normal size for pawpaws. I believe they are typically sold in smaller sizes due to the tap root. The smaller size gives you better transplant success.

PA Golden is one of the better-tasting pawpaws out there. It’s my 3rd favorite behind Allegheny and Shenandoah.

I have a PA Golden #3 I got from Hidden Springs Nursery. I’ve often wondered about the differences between the PA Goldens, but haven’t found any info online.

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This comment may push me over the edge to buy it. Already have Shenandoah, Potomac, and mango.

How would you rate the 3 you have now in order of tastiness?

I have a couple Peterson varieties, but Mango has been one I’ve wanted for a long time.


No fruit yet. I just planted them last year. Mango this spring. I have gotten great growth from Potomac especially. It is over 4 feet tall now. Both it and Shenandoah have flower buds formed for next year, but that would be very early to actually fruit. May still try to hand pollinate if they do flower.

Does anyone happen to know which of the PA golden (1, 2, 3, or 4) StarkBros sells?

Also, a bit off topic but is it possible to grow a pawpaw in something like a 1/2 water barrel (25-30 gal pot)? Or does their tap root prevent this?

@Zafak I do not know for sure, but my guess would be #1. That seems to be the standard, but it might be worth contacting them to verify. Also, from what I have read, many people who are more knowledgeable about pawpaws do not recommend PA golden, noting that the fruit quality is subpar compared to more recent introductions. I haven’t tasted it myself, but have seen a few comments about it having a bitter aftertaste. If someone is looking for fruit that will ripen in the Northern cusp of the growing range, varieties such as Summer Delight or Maria’s Joy are noted for their improved flavor and being early ripening. I tasted Summer Delight this past year and it was amongst the best pawpaws I have tasted…I have a Maria’s Joy in the ground now and can’t wait for it to start producing.

@dimitri_7a I’m not sure, but I have seen some pawpaws planted in very large pots at a nursery. The trees were decent sized, but seemed to have outgrown the pots at the time. I think the very large root system they attain at maturity makes them do best in the ground. But I imagine it would work okay if you weren’t looking for the trees to hit a big size or pump out tons of fruit.


Yeah, for years I assumed that it was PA golden #1 but decided to find out for sure. I do have Maria’s joy in the ground but it still has a few years before I will get fruit from it. I had summer delight (Edit: Tropical treat, not summer delight) as well but I lost it to rabbits last summer and Cliff England was out of scion wood for it when I placed my scion order this year.

I sent Starkbros an email this afternoon inquiring as to which number their PA golden is but I’m not sure that they will know the answer. I would expect that it would be listed in the description on their site if they knew it.

Here is the email that I sent:

I have multiple great StarkBros trees planted in my yard, including a PA golden pawpaw that I ordered from StarkBros in 2013. I have a question about that tree that I can’t seem to find an answer to online: Which PA golden did I buy? There are actually four numbered selections of PA golden grown out by John Gordon, they are PA golden #1, #2, #3, and #4. KSU lists all four as pawpaw cultivars ( but only has yield data for PA golden #1. Because of that I assumed that PA golden #1 was the only pawpaw that was circulated as PA golden, but I have recently found that PA golden #1 is sold at one nursery ( and PA golden #3 is sold at a different nursery (Hidden Springs Nursery). Which of the four PA golden pawpaw selections does StarkBros graft and sell?
Thank you for your time,

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@Zafak curious what they will say! I got a hold of some Summer Delight, Overleese, and Nyomi’s Delicious scion from him. If I have wood remaining after grafting this season I would be happy to send you some. I also have some wood coming from Jerry Lehman and Red Fern Farm in Iowa, so I might have extra of those as well.

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@nik_umesh Thank you for the generous offer, but I was mistaken, it is tropical treat and Halvin that I lost this past summer.

We could probably still do a trade though. I have scion wood for Overleese, Prolific, Atria, Betria, and Rigel coming from Red Fern. In my fridge I have scions for summer delight, Nyomi’s delicious, Green river belle, Zimmerman, Mango, and Rebecca’s gold. After grafting I could let you know what is left over from those. Out of the trees that I have I could probably cut scionwood off of there is NC-1, Taytwo, Well’s, Sunflower, and IXL if you are interested.


This is some info on PA GOLDEN from a book John Gordon wrote:

“Pennsylvania Golden pawpaw - ripens early September to October. The smooth, thin, pear-like skin turns yellowish as the flesh softens on the tree. The flesh is yellow-orange. The tree goes dormant by October, dropping pale yellow leaves with its fruit. The trees are found growing in talus formations in gaps through the mountain ridges of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania golden pawpaws can have a chemical-coffee taste if ripened under hot dry conditions (This may be another case of ripening for the wrong reason, therefore not really ripening.). The selections Zimmerman and McKay have a mild flavour. Dr. L. H. MacDaniels named a seedling Pennsylvania Golden the “Zimmerman” for this devoted breeder of pawpaw (MacDaniels’ seed source). McKay is also traced back to Dr. Zimmerman. Several Pennsylvania nurserymen have distributed selections of pawpaw under the name Pennsylvania Golden. They gathered root sprouts from favourite groves and pampered them with mulch and water for a year before distribution. We are continuing this line as PA Golden because the typical fruit is pure confection with no hint of green pepper flavour (pawpaw scent), rubbery texture, or watery texture in its flesh.”

Here is a link to his book. It’s a great source of info on nut trees/grafting/propagation/persimmons and paw paws. I visited him in 2006 and purchased his book and some trees.