Nature Photo – Paw Paws

The paw paws are blooming now.  They have such a striking presence in the pastures.  When I was a kid my parents would go to the Ordway-Swisher Preserve for my mom’s Masters research on Opuntia pollination, and the first little way along the road was covered with pawpaws – quite a sight when they were in bloom, but even better, I thought, when the fruit was ripe.
Paw paws are actually toxic to grazing animals, but since we have a lot of other plants and we don’t pressure the pastures so much, we haven’t had any problems with them.  I think they might be beetle pollinated, because they are always covered with different beetles.

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