When learning to identify plants, you focus more on two things- leaves and flowers. The netted pawpaw and the gopher berry (aka dwarf pawpaw) have the appearance to look alike- primarily by their flowers. While both of these plants are in the Asimina genus and 18 different species in Florida, all have similar characteristics. Between the two, netted pawpaw and gopher berry, the similarity lies in the shape of the flower and the form of the fruit.
Netted pawpaws have drooping white flowers just like the gopher berry. The gopher berry grows lower to the ground and has pointed tipped leaves, and when flowering, the petals are red.
For the first time, I was able to see the fruit of both the netted pawpaw and the gopher berry, and not surprisingly, they both look the same.
The fruit of the netted pawpaw and gopher berry are oddly-shaped; sometimes, two or three are fused together.
According to Florida Wildflower Organization, the plant is a larval host for the Zebra swallowtail and Pawpaw sphinx moth. The fruits begin appearing in spring and summer and are favored by birds and small mammals.
Be safe in your travels!