Carrion Wayward Flower

forest fruit

No, its not a rewrite of the Kansas song, its a fruit that seems to be wayward of the tropics.  I am referring to the Asimina triloba plant, or common pawpaw which is the largest indigenous fruit on the North American continent.  A native of Ontario and many northeastern U.S. states, this plant is the only one of its genus found outside of the tropics, wayward?  perhaps... but that is not the only unusual thing about it...

The pawpaw has fetid or stinking flowers that attract scavengers such as flies and beetles to pollinate it.  The source of the smell has not been fully identified (blame the dog?)...  but they have detected very small concentrations (5-10 parts per billion) of sulphides in some species. 

Luckily for us, our pawpaw trees seem to not be too offensive to the nose and one could argue rather beautiful to the eye.  Check it out!   Fruit from these trees are often described as tasting like banana-mango custard.  Mmm, can't wait!

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