Wild Florida Photo
Nature Photography by Paul Rebmann
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PRETTY FALSE PAWPAW
ROYAL FALSE PAWPAW
Synonym: Asimina pulchella, Deeringothamnus pulchellus
Endemic to Florida
Endangered Florida species
U.S. Endangered species
Beautiful pawpaw, as this plant is also known, is found only in Florida, primarily in flatwoods and disturbed sites in Lee and Charlotte Counties. There are also a few populations in Orange County, typically open sites that have been burned or mechanically cleared, such as powerline right-of-ways.
A small woody shrub only growing up to 30cm (about 1 foot) tall. Single flowers appear in the leaf axils, usually in April and May. The flowers are made up of two series of similar white or pale pink linear recurved petals. Both the foliage and flowers are fragrant.
Botanists disagree on if white squirrel-banana - Deeringothamnus rugelii var. pulchellus - is a subspecies of Derringothamnus rugelii - or if it is a separate species.