Mayapple is unique in that It has only 2 leaves and 1 flower, which grows in the axil of the leaves. The large, twin, umbrella-like leaves of mayapple are showy and conspicuous. They remain closed as the stem lengthens, unfolding 6–8 inches across when the plant has reached its 1-1 1/2 ft. height. The solitary, nodding, white to rose-colored flower grows in the axil of the leaves and has 6–9 waxy white petals, with many stamens. (You can see an example of a 2013 specimen in flower here: http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/212...) The nodding fruit is a large, fleshy, lemon-shaped berry. Mayapple colonizes by rhizomes, forming dense mats in damp, open woods. The common name refers to the May blooming of its apple-blossom-like flower. Although the leaves, roots, and seeds are poisonous if ingested in large quantities, the roots were used as a cathartic by Native Americans. The edible, ripe, golden-yellow fruits can be used in jellies.
Native Distribution: Que. & s. Ont. to FL, w. to MN, e. NE, e. KS & e. TX Native Habitat: Mixed deciduous forest, shaded fields, shaded moist road banks, shaded riverbanks.
Spotted along Vineyard Mountain Eagle Scout Trail at the Riverside Day Use Park.
Lat: 34.16, Long: -84.73
Spotted on Mar 30, 2014
Submitted on May 22, 2014