May 23, 2011

Hide and seek in the Mayapple patch

I’ve had Mayapples (Podophyllum peltatum) on my mind for several weeks now—since before I posted about them as plant of the month.

There are just so many great things to say about Mayapples beyond the fact that they’re fascinating to watch throughout the growing season.

They’re shy, though. A top view of the Mayapple patch looks like this:

But if you peel back the foliage or kneel down to their level, you find a surprise—lovely white blooms that rival the beauty of many showier flowering plants.


  1. OMG...I'm so jealous of that patch of Podophyllum...stunning! I never was very impressed with them in the past...but the past few years I've started to like them more and more!

  2. one of my favs for flowers haven't bloomed and I await them patiently at rabbit level....

  3. @Scott: I know, I think I was the same way because from the top in late spring they just look like a bunch of big green plants. But the emerging umbrellas and the hiding flowers are unique. Also, the fruit is interesting to watch in late summer.

    @Donna: Yes, they're definitely at rabbit level. Must be a pretty show for any animals crawling under the umbrellas!

  4. Very cool. I've had mayapples on my someday wish list for a long time. What a big patch you have! I hadn't seen the flowers before, thanks for sharing.

  5. A new plant Im seeing, is the fruit looks like an apple? I love their pretty white flowers too!

  6. I love the blooms on your Mayapples! I've never grown any, so I don't think I've ever seen these gorgeous blooms before. The mayapples look especially pretty in the mass planting you have.

  7. Wonderful! I have only ever seen mayapple patches like that in the woods. Wonderful that you have so many. I think it is such a wonderful woodland plant.

  8. Lovely! I like the unusual leaves and the delicate blooms.

  9. I certainly never knew all those things about Mayapples! I would say you are even luckier to have such a fine patch now (and I thought so before). I still have one pressed from the wildflower collection I had to do in jr high!

  10. I just noticed that the small patch of Mayapples have blooms. Such a big flower under that leaf.

  11. Such a beauty! I've never even heard of a Mayapple. I love it when I learn something new. Thank you for stimulating my brain cells and introducing me to a beautiful new plant.

  12. I always enjoy my patch- similar to yours- but didnt know about the rabbits or jam! Thanks for sharing!

  13. @VW: Oh, you'll enjoy them! Make sure to check on their progress from April through October.

    @P3: Yes, the fruits look sort of like an apple and they ripen in the fall. The fruits are just starting to form now.

    @Rose: Thank you! I can't take credit for the planting because they naturalized in that patch. Pretty nifty.

    @Karin: Yes, our lot includes a small forest that stretches onto a glacial drumlin. It's a small conservancy that can never be developed. It's fun to see what naturalizes back there.

    @Masha: Thanks! It's so fun to compare notes with gardeners like you in other regions.

  14. @Kathleen: I've learned so much about them this year, too. I kind of took them for granted before.

    @Layanee: Yes, it's fascinating to look under the Mayapple canopy and see all the beautiful blooms hiding there.

    @Carolyn: Oh, I agree it's great to learn about new plants from each other. I'll be hopping over to your blog soon!

    @Gabrielle: Aren't they fun?! We'll have to compare notes on their progress throughout the growing season. Cheers!


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