Photo Credit
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Anderson, USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database.

Mayapple

Scientific name
Podophyllum peltatum
Plant Family
Plant Group
The leaves of this native forb attach in the center of the leaf giving it a distinctive 'umbrella' appearance. The white flowers hang from the junction of the 2 opposite leaves.
Identification Hints

The leaves of this native forb attach in the center of the leaf giving it a distinctive 'umbrella' appearance. The white flowers hang from the junction of the 2 opposite leaves.

Did You Know?

The fruits of the mayapple are edible, but beware of the highly poisonous roots and leaves! The mayapple is considered a spring ephemeral, meaning that it often emerges very early in the spring, before the canopy of the trees around it has emerged.

Leaves
Leaves are peltate, meaning the long stem is attached in the center of the leaf, giving it an ‘umbrella’ appearance. Plants have just one leaf if they are not in the flowering stage; reproductive plants have two leaves. Leaves themselves have 5 to 9 deeply divided lobes. Each leaf can be up to 1 in (30 cm) long. They are a light to deep green, hairless, and appear rubbery
Flowers
Each reproductive plant bears a single white, 6 to 9-parted (petaled), 1 to 2.5 in (2.5 to 6.25 cm) wide flower, which droops downward from the junction of the two leaves. Petals are rounded at the top, and overlap each other. The reproductive parts of the flower are yellow. The flower is very fragrant.
Fruits
A fleshy green to yellow berry, 1 to 2 in (2 to 5 cm), with many seeds. The mayapple gets its’ common name by the resemblance of this berry to a small apple.
Habitat
Moist woodlands in partial shade. Ontario to Nova Scotia, south from Florida to Texas.
Bloom Time
May, as the name suggests.
States
AL, AR, CT, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV