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Podophyllum peltatum

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Plant types and subtypes: SALE, Perennials, Ephemerals

Light Requirements: part-shade, shade

Water Use: medium

Soil Moisture: moist

Soil Description: acid, rich, average, loam, clay, sand

Height: 12"-18"

Bloom Time: March, April, May

Bloom Color: white

Leaf Color: green

Hardiness Zone: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Additional Tags: berries, colonizing, edible, ephemeral, naturalizing, ornamental foliage, poisonous, shade garden plant, showy fruit, stream margin plant, woodland plant

Flower of Podophyllum peltatum (May apple)
  • Flower of Podophyllum peltatum (May apple)
  • Podophyllum peltatum (May apple)
  • Podophyllum peltatum (May apple)
  • Fruit of Podophyllum peltatum (May apple)

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Description

Podophyllum peltatum

Also known as:

May apple

,

Mayapple

,

Indian apple

,

wild mandrake

,

pomme de mai

,

podophylle pelt

Scientific Synonyms:

Description

Colonies of this showy woodland plant are a common sight in damp, open woods and on riverbanks. May apple is easily recognized by its large, deeply divided, umbrella-shaped leaves which unfurl in early spring from a single stem. A solitary, nodding, white, and occasionally tinged with yellow or pink, flower grows from the axil of two-leaved plants (single leaved plants will not bloom).The fleshy, yellow berry that follows gave the May apple its common name.

Cultivation

Podophyllum peltatum is easily grown in the dappled shade of deciduous trees where it will form a loose canopy that seems to float above the ground . 

It needs acidic, moist, humus-rich soil. It will spread quickly under favorable conditions. This species is ephemeral and goes completely dormant in summer. 

It can be combined with late-emerging plants that can tolerate the root competition, such as Eurybia divaricata and Solidago flexicaulis. Blooms in spring, March to May. Zones 4-8

Propagation

Self seeds under optimum conditions. Collected seeds will require cold, moist stratification. Easy to propagate by root division when the plant is dormant.

Additional Notes

The ripe fruit of May apple is edible and can be used in jams and jellies.The leaves, roots, seeds and unripe fruit are poisonous if ingested in large quantities.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:
AL, AR, CT, DC, 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

USDA Endangered Status:

  • Endangered: FL

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons
Subclass Magnoliidae
Order Ranunculales
Family Berberidaceae Barberry family
Genus Podophyllum mayapple
Species Podophyllum peltatum May apple