The latter has had a rough life for a young tree. It stands, right now, only about 3 feet tall, having been burnt early on in a fire and then, the next year, chewed down to a nubbin by marauding deer. Still, it survived, and every year it puts out a few of those large, Cretaceous-era leaves to remind me that older and larger creatures once walked this earth. And this year, imagine my surprise to see it bloom! I didn't know Pawpaws bloomed, although any idiot amateur gardener like myself should realize that if they bear large banana-like fruit, they must bloom at some point.
In my ignorance about this tree, I had no intentions related to a higher environmental consciousness than hoping someday to taste its edible fruits, but in reading about the Pawpaw, I have since learned that it is the sole source of food for larvae of the Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus). I've never seen one of these gorgeous butterflies, but as my Pawpaw grows, I'll be sure to leave any such larvae alone and to watch for the appearance of any errant migrants that make it this far west. "If you build it, they will come" was the line from the movie Field of Dreams. Well, maybe, just maybe, "if I grow it, they will come" works the same way for a gardener.