Pawpaw is a small shrub that grows in the understory of mesic forest and small woodland openings. It can grow between 10 to 20 feet, or sometimes as high as 30 feet. It blooms in spring from April to May, and will produce fruit in the fall. The fruit is edible, but it is very hard to find, because animals are quick to find the ripe fruits.
The bloom attracts blow flies, flesh flies, and other flies, since the flower color and scent resembles rotting carrion. The leaves are consumed exclusively by the caterpillars of Zebra Swallowtail and the moth Pawpaw Sphinx, and contains an insecticide that repels most insect. Pawpaw is a beautiful shrub that is a happy find when walking through the woods.