|Photo by Betty Wargo, Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants|
|Division:||Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants|
|Class:||Magnoliopsida - Dicotyledons|
| Asimina obovata|
|Natural range of Asimina obovata from USDA NRCS Plants Database.|
Common name: Bigflower pawpaw
Synonym: Pityothamnus obovatus (Willdenow) Small
A description of Asimina obovata is provided in The Flora of North America.
Asimina obovata is a long-lived perennial. Such as other species in the Genus Asimina, it has a deep taproot and resprouts from a lignotuber after fire or disturbance (Kral 1993). Leaves are alternate and simple with pinnate venation. It can be a shrub or a small tree growing three meters or more.
Asimina obovata is endemic to the well drained sand of sand ridges, coastal dunes, hammocks and pine-turkey oak sand ridges that occur in southeastern to north central Florida. Associated species include Pinus clausa, Quercus gemiata, Quercus myrtifolia, Ceratiola ericoides, Ilex opaca var. arenicola, Garberia heterophylla, and Persea humilus.
Asimina obovata is the only species in the genus Asimina to have flower buds that terminate the new shoot growth. This species can be identified by a bright red-hairy peduncle and a reddish pubescence on the shoots and lower leaf surface. The stamens are pale green to beige at anthesis.
Seed bank and germination
Seedlings have been found in the shade of parent plants due to the importance of shade and seed burial to prevent seed desiccation after ripening.
In the year following a fire, A. obovata resprouts with more stems than were present pre-fire, however these stems are smaller and less woody with a higher chance of herbivory. The amount of flowers blooming is the greatest in the second flowering season post-fire with flower numbers decreasing as the fire interval becomes longer.
The species responds to a disturbance such as fire or cutting vegetatively, sending up several leafy shoots which are forming flower buds that do not open until the following growing season.
Pollination occurs entomophily  with beetles such as Typocerus zebra, Trichotinus rufobruneus, T. lunulatus and Euphoria sepulchralis responsible for pollination. The following Hymenoptera families and species were observed visiting flowers of Asimina obovata at Archbold Biological Station:
Apidae: Apis mellifera
Vespidae: Polistes dorsalis hunteri
Use by animals
In order to protect itself from herbivory, A. obovata contains a toxin called annonaceous acetogenins which inhibits mitochondrial respiration in preditors.
Gopher tortoises have been observed to eat the ripe fruit and spit out the seeds.
Conservation and management
Cultivation and restoration
References and notes
- [Florida Native Plant Society. Accessed: November 24, 2015]
- Kral, Robert. 1960. A Revision of Asimina and Deeringothamnus (Annonaceae). Brittonia 12:233-278.
- [Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Accessed: November 23, 2015.]
- []Accessed: November 24, 2015.
- Crummer, Kathryn. Physiological Leaf Traits of Scrub Pawpaw, Asimina obovata (Willd.)Nash (Annonaceae). University of Florida, 2003.
- [] Archbold Biological Station. Accessed: November 24, 2015
- [Encyclopedia of Life]Accessed November 24, 2015
- Norman, Elaine M. and David Clayton. Reproductive Biology of Two Florida Pawpaws: Asimina obovata and A. pygmaea (Annonaceae). 1986. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 113: 16-22.
- Deyrup, M.A. 2015. Database of observations of Hymenoptera visitations to flowers of plants on Archbold Biological Station, Florida, USA.
- [] Nature Serve Explorer. Accessed November 24, 2015.]]