Pawpaw is a colony-forming understory small tree of rich bottomlands. Leaves are large (up to a foot long) and malodorous if crushed. The unmistakable purplish-brown flowers appear in May on leafless branches. The fruit resembles a short, fat banana and is the largest edible fruit native to the U.S. The pawpaw does not self pollinate, so cross pollination is required. Prefers deep moist soils and partial shade.