Shrubs or small trees , taprooted; trunks straight in arborescent forms. Bark thin, cracking longitudinally (shallowly furrowed in larger trees of Asimina triloba ). Shoots: secondary branching sparse to copious, 2-ranked; primary shoots of shrubs usually several, erect to arching or decumbent; lenticels scattered, small, prominent; buds naked. Leaves deciduous. Leaf blade membranous or leathery, glabrous to variously hairy. Inflorescences axillary, on new shoots or from above leaf scars of previous seasons, fascicles; peduncle bracteate or bracteolate. Flowers 1-4 per leaf axil, nodding to nearly erect, becoming enlarged; receptacle convex to ±globose or elongate, elevated; sepals deciduous, 3(-4), nearly distinct, triangular to deltate-ovate, valvate in bud; petals in 2 unequal whorls, each of 3-4 equal members, with prominent veins, imbricate in bud, those of outer whorl larger, thinner than those of inner whorl; nectaries present, usually with differently pigmented, thickened-corrugate zones adaxially near petal bases; stamens very numerous, short-columnar, forming ball; filament short; connective blunt to nearly spheric or cuboid; pistils 2-8(-12), sessile to stipitate, distinct, glabrate; ovules several (sometimes few) in 2 staggered rows. Fruits simple berries, usually 3-5 per flower, spreading from swollen receptacles, unevenly oblong-cylindric, pulpy. Seeds 3-many per pistil, bean-shaped, slightly compressed laterally, coat tough, margins absent. x =9.
Exell, A. W. 1927. William Bartram and the genus Asimina in North America. J. Bot. 65: 65-70. Nash, G. V. 1896. Revision of the genus Asimina in North America. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 23: 234-242. Uphof, J. C. T. 1933. Die nordamerikanischen Arten der Gattung Asimina. Mitt. Deutsch. Dendrol. Ges. 45: 61-76. Wilbur, R. L. 1970. Taxonomic and nomenclatural observations on the eastern North American genus Asimina (Annonaceae). J. Elisha Mitchell Sci. Soc. 86(2): 88-96. Zimmerman, G. A. 1941. Hybrids of the American pawpaw. J. Heredity 32: 82-91.
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