Lost Arts studio

A lot of the fiber arts I enjoy are things like tatting, netmaking, chair caning, and even weaving, where people will come up to me when I demonstrate and solemnly tell me, "That's a lost art."

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Location: SW Outer Nowhere, Michigan, United States

On the Internet, nobody knows you're a chicken. (With apologies to Peter Steiner.)

05 December 2009

Paw Paws and Papayas

Or, the usefulness of scientific names.

Bells commented, "Oh, I'm confused. That doesn't look anything like the paw paw I know - well not much like it. And a custard apple is a big, misshapen pale lumpy thing with a texture like custard."

That would be because "paw paw" is one of the names for the papaya, Carica papaya, a native of South America, and a plant which definitely does not grow in Michigan.

Bells' paw paw has pale, five-petalled flowers,

deeply cut palmate leaves,

and a palm-like growth habit.

The fruit varies considerably by cultivar.

The plant I call a paw paw is a small cold-hardy tree, related to species like the custard apple, Annona reticulata,

the soursop, Annona muricata,

and the cherimoya, Annona cherimola.

The Annona species all have simple oval leaves

and big brown seeds that closely resemble paw paw (the Asimina species) seeds.

Same common name, entirely different plants.


Blogger amy said...

Oh those tricky common names. Thank goodness for Linneaus and his good idea, huh? ;)

6:30 PM  
Blogger Roxie said...

Oh I see! Like the American Robin isn't really a robin at all, but a red-bellied thrush. I get it!

9:37 AM  
Blogger Geek Knitter said...

And now I'd like to have one of each, please!

3:42 PM  
Blogger Donna Lee said...

I think of pawpaws like you. I've never seen the other kind. They're not something we see around here much. For some reason I always associate them with prickly pears.....

7:22 PM  
Blogger Knitting Linguist said...

Hunh. That is very cool -- I had no idea.

8:34 PM  
Blogger Felicia said...

I've never had a custard apple - or paw paw! I have had papaya though. I think it was my 6th grade teacher who was big on trying different things. Of course, the only one I remember was when she brought sugar cane into class. Thanks for the agriculture lesson!

12:13 AM  
Blogger HobbygÃ¥sa said...

Tricky :-) Papaya it is here in Norway :-)

6:13 AM  

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