This is a small tree, which often is encountered as a large shrub. It is the only hardy member of an otherwise tropical family of plants. The Pawpaw prefers moist, fertile soil and commonly grows in stream valleys and on ravine slopes. It is very tolerant of shade and typically is found beneath larger trees in a forest. Although occurring throughout most of Ohio, it is less common northward. The wood is of no commercial value, but Pawpaw occasionally are planted as ornamentals. The distinctive, fleshy fruit is edible when ripe, but is not appreciated by all persons. Nevertheless, several forms of wildlife feed on the fruit.