Paw Paw

From Ohio History Central

The official native fruit of the State of Ohio is the paw paw fruit.  It was adopted in January 2009.  The scientific name is asimina triloba.  

The fruit is very unique in that they resemble a short, fat banana, 2 ½ to 4 inches long.  It is first green, then yellow, then brown in the fall and tastes like a banana. It has an avocado-like texture and has a few large seeds.  The paw paw is nutritious, high in vitamin C, iron and a good source of potassium.  The paw paw grows on a tree.  The paw paw is the only edible fruit that is native to Ohio. Historians note that the paw paw has been around for 30,000 years. In the early 1500s, Indians were seen in the Ohio River Valley gathering paw paws and using them for trade.  Mid-September is the peak season for the paw paw harvest. The Ohio Paw Paw Festival takes place annually in September in Athens County, Ohio.