27RARE TREES OF THE SYDENHAM RIVER

The Sydenham River watershed contains several Carolinian Species of trees such as the pawpaw, Kentucky coffee-tree and the blue ash. Since these trees prefer moist, deep fertile soils, they are commonly found along the river.

pawpaw

fruit of pawpaw
fruit of pawpaw
The pawpaw tree is a member of the Custard apple family, which is usually tropical or subtropical. This tree is the only one of its family that grows in Canada. Is it found in 8 locations in Ontario, 4 of which are in the Sydenham watershed. This uncommon tree tends to grow under the shade of higher hardwoods. This tree bears pale greenish-yellow fruit in clusters that turn brown when ripe. Raccoons and opossum feast on this fruit before they are ripe enough for people. The rare fruit that escapes is sweet and pleasant tasting. The flashy flower is maroon, and gives off an unpleasant odour that has been compared to the smell of rotting meat. The smell attracts the carrion fly, which helps pollinate the pawpaw.

page 1 of 3 next page>