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.
- Rabbits stay away from them.
- You can make jam from the fruit (but only after the fruit turns yellow).
- Scientists are finding they’re an excellent source of podophyllotoxin, a compound used for making cancer-fighting chemicals.
- Morel mushrooms sometimes appear where Mayapples grow (although I haven’t found any here and I’ve looked nearly every day).
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.