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Also known as American mandrake, this plant has some stems bearing a single leaf which does not produce any flower or fruit, while flowering stems produce a pair or more leaves with 1–8 flowers in the axil between the apical leaves. The flowers are white, yellow or red, 2–6 cm diameter with 6–9 petals, and mature into a green, yellow or red fleshy fruit 2–5 cm long. All the parts of the plant, excepting the fruit, are poisonous. Even the fruit, though not dangerously poisonous, can cause unpleasant indigestion. Mayapple has been used by Native Americans and settlers for medicinal purposes.
Elk Knob State Park. These flowers bloom a month later in the mountains of Western North Carolina than those in the Central Piedmont area of the state.