Four Petal Pawpaw Facts
- Most notably, the remarkable Four Petal Pawpaw remains a plant that, in some ways, defies explanation. That’s true due to the fact that, to date, evidence indicates that it never existed anywhere beyond its extremely small area of habitation.
- Furthermore, the fabulous plant, not surprisingly, also remains extremely rare in the wild. In point of fact, only 17 known concentrations of the Four Petal Pawpaw exist anywhere in Nature.
- In addition to only appearing in these few concentrations, its numbers remains scant as well. Due to various factors, only 950 known individual specimens of the amazing species still exist.
- Fortunately, however, 10 of the 17 surviving concentrations reside within the protected confines of the Jonathan Dickinson State Park. This provides them with at least a measure of protection.
- However, the plant still faces serious threats to its existence. Like many other species, its primary threat consists of climate change. Due to these factors, the IUCN currently lists it as Endangered.
Four Petal Pawpaw Physical Description
Firstly, the amazing Four Petal Pawpaw represents another species capable of developing two different ways. Therefore, much like the Devil’s Walking Stick, it develops as either a small tree or aromatic shrub.
Furthermore, regardless of the form it takes, the plant produces a unique and sweet smell. The species also attains a maximum height of as much as 9.8 ft (3 m), though it averages approximately 6.5 ft (2 m).
Meanwhile, the leaves attain an average length of about 4 in (10 cm). Also, these appear green on the upper surface and grayish-green on the underside. In addition, these often have uniquely rolled edges.
Additionally, the flower of the species ranges in color from maroon to pink. This actually changes color as it ages, and also produces a strong, fetid smell. Yet strangely, its small fruit usually produces a banana-like scent.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Tracheophytes
- Class: Angiosperms
- Order: Magnoliales
- Family: Annonaceae
- Genus: Asimina
- Species: A. tetramera
Four Petal Pawpaw Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
First of all, the amazing Four Petal Pawpaw has a rather unique distribution pattern. That’s because of the combination of its scattered populations and the regions in which they appear. This consists of one tiny area in the United States in North America.
Further, in fact, this fascinating plant only appears in Nature in two counties in the state of Florida. Even there, however, it generally has a very specific type of environment in which it appears.
That habitat, oddly enough, consists of regions of sparse scrub. Additionally, the great majority of known specimens exist alongside of several specific plants. These include saw palmetto, sand pine, and a few types of oak.
Finally, and quite ironically, this remarkable species actually depends on occasional wildfires for its survival. That’s because these remove the brush and various trees that tend to take over its habitat.