Mayapple, Podophyllum peltatum

Podophyllum peltatum is a plant species belonging to the Berberidaceae family. The species may also be referred to as Mayapple, Hogapple, Indian apple, Mayflower, Umbrella plant, Wild lemon, Wild mandrake, American mandrake or Devil’s apple.

The Podophyllum peltatum is an herbaceous perennial plant, meaning its leaves and stems die down at the end of growing season but the plant as a whole typically lives longer than 2 years. The species emerges in the springtime and slowly withers later in the summer months.

Podophyllum peltatum stems reach heights between 11.8 to 15.75 inches tall. Its stems may have 2-3 leaves that grow approximately 7.9 to 11.8 inches in diameter. The plant typically produces one white flower (1.4-2 inches around) that is surrounded by 6 petals. Over time this flower turns yellowish in color and eventually matures into a greenish fruit. The fruit measures from .1 to .2 inches long.

The Podophyllum peltatum species contains mycorrhizae, which the plant uses to survive in infertile conditions. The mycorrhizae fungus that grows in association with the plants roots assists with the plants nutrient uptake. The Podophyllum peltatum plant most commonly exists in open mesic (moist) woodlands.

Image Caption: Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum). Credit: Velocicaptor/Wikipedia (public domain)