Hardy Planting Zone – USDA 3 to 9
Bloom Season – April
Bloom Color – White
Height at Maturity – 12” to 18” inches tall
Soil Type Preferred – Well-drained
Sun or Shade – Part shade to full shade
Mayapple, a native woodland plant, is found across most eastern North America and in the southern region near Texas.
Mayapple, also referred to as podophyllum peltatum, is a species in the barberry family. This perennial generally grows in colonies that originate from a single root. Typical areas you can see Mayapple plants growing wild are open forests, riverbanks, shady fields, and roadsides.
Native Americans use this plant for medicinal purposes, and podophyllotoxin is a common ingredient in prescription drugs. However, the plant in its natural form is highly toxic if swallowed by humans.
The stem sands in an upright position and grows from a shallow, branched underground rhizome. The rhizome has thick dark tubers connected by fleshy fibers, which spread roots allowing the bud to produce a shoot.
The leaves create an umbrella-like environment that makes a lush green landscape. The stem of the plant elongates during the spring, and the leaves remain furled. Typically, up to two leaves grow on the stem. When Mayapple is allowed to grow wild, it creates a beautiful dense colony.
Mayapple is a native spring wildflower that emerges during the early spring season then goes dormant in mid-summer.
It goes dormant as the environmental conditions get sunny.
The axil of the two leaves produces solitary white flowers. The flower measures 2” to 3” inches wide and features 6 to 9 waxy petals and a light green-colored sepal. The short-lived flowers are found hidden by the umbrella-like leaves. They produce a light, pleasant fragrance that attracts bumblebees.
Mayapple looks lush and plentiful in the garden and adds texture and greenery to the landscape.