Mayapple-Podophyllum peltatum

mayapple flower     Mayapple   Mayapple fruit 10-05-10

Mayapple is also known as Hog Apple, American Mandrake, Wild Lemon and Umbrella Plant.   It is in the Barberry Family.   It is a perennial that can grow to 18 inches tall.   It will usually bloom in April, but the bloom will be hidden under its leaves.    This flower will develop a fruit which is edible when it turns golden.   Plants with only one leaf will not flower.   It should be noted that the leaves and roots can be poisonous.   It like medium moisture and part to full shade.   The Cherokee name for this plant translates “it wears a hat”.

The Cherokee used the fruit from this plant as food when it ripened.   The roots were used to make a tea that was used as a laxative.  The part of the root between it’s joints were used for medicine.

This is a beautiful plant that will multiple by reseeding or by spread through it root system.   Mayapples are definitely a spring time plant because by mid-summer they will go dormant and disappear.

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