The papaw is commonly only a large shrub, but by extraordinary effort it sometimes reaches the height of twenty or twenty-five feet, with a diameter of eight inches. It bears a purple flower of great beauty, with an oblong fruit with an egg-custard consistency and taste. It is most too rich for most people. The trunk of the tree is covered with a silver-gray bark, which is finely polished and very smooth. It has not been observed north of the Schuylkill River, Pennsylvania; it is a sure indication of the richness of the soil. It seldom produces shoots of more than five or six inches in length, hence a plant in ten years does not reach above three or four feet in height. Portions of the wood have a rank and foetid smell. The fruit is eaten by few people except negroes; a spirituous liquor has been made from it, but it is of little worth, and has a very deleterious effect upon those who are in the habit of using it.