Monday, May 9, 2011

Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum)

Podophyllum peltatum is called by the common names Mayapple, May-apple, American Mandrake, Devil's Apple, Hog-apple, and Indian Apple. We saw a ‘grove’ of Mayapples on the creek side of the trail at the Rock and Shoals Natural Area on March 19th. I’d never seen Mayapples before so I was looking forward to looking for blooms.

The plants were just emerging from their Winter hibernation in mid-March.

Just out of the ground; leaves are folded against the stalk

Leaves are just starting to unfold

Leaves are starting to open out

Leaves are fully opened. These plants are easy to recognize.

The grove was well-developed in mid-April

In natural light, we could just spot one or two plants that had bloomed.

Some artificial light made them easier to see.

A close view of the bloom in profile. The delicate veins in the petals are visible.

A close view of the younger of two flowers. Flowers last for only a day or two.

A close view of a slightly older flower. The ovary is already enlarged indicating that this flower was probably fertilized. We will have to check back to see if the fruit, called a Mayapple apple or an ‘Ozark’ lime, develop.

Podophyllum peltatum
(Mayapple) is native to North America and is found in open woods in the eastern United States and Canada
Click on an image to view a larger image

Distribution Map:

- United States Department of Agriculture Plants Database: Podophyllum peltatum (Mayapple)

- University of North Carolina Herbarium: Podophyllum peltatum

Identification resources:

- Southeastern Flora: Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum)

- Natural and Naturalized Plants of the Carolinas and Georgia: May-apple, American Mandrake (Podophyllum peltatum)

- Missouri Plants: Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum)

Related posts:

- 2010: Year Of The Wildflower – Wildflower Index

- Rock and Shoals Outcrop Natural Area; Part 1, Blue Trail

- Rock and Shoals Outcrop Natural Area: Plants Along The Stream

- Rock and Shoals Outcrop Natural Area: Mid-April Wildflowers

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