Podophyllum peltatum (Mayapple)

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

This native ground cover spreads to carpet the floor of mixed deciduous forests from eastern Canada to Florida and is common throughout the Mid-Atlantic. Its umbrella-like leaves may hide showy but sparse white flowers that emerge from two-leaved plants in early spring. Its fully ripened fruit,* the mayapple, can be used for preserves and jellies.

*Consult expert guide before using/eating mayapple. Fruit should be fully ripe–yellow, soft, wrinkly, and odorous. Do not eat the seeds. Do not overeat.

Print Version (Legal Size): Podophyllum peltatum (Mayapple)

Podophyllum peltatum, Mayapple, Ground Cover Height: 1–2 feet Spread: 3⁄4–1 foot Bloom Color: White Characteristics Spring ephemeral, herbaceous perennial One or two palmately-lobed, pale green mottled leaves up to 12” in diameter on a single stem Single, nodding, waxy, six- to nine-petalled white flower emerges from the leaf axil of two-leaved plants blooming from April to May Fleshy lemon-shaped fruit turns golden when ripe Attributes Goes dormant in summer, so not a good border plant Tolerates drought and dry soil; no serious pests or diseases; deer rarely damage Plant colonizes by rhizomes to form dense mats often to exclusion of other spring-flowering plants Leaves, roots, and unripe fruit are poisonous but fully ripe fruit is edible and used for preserves Attracts long-tongued bees; fruits attract box turtles Growing and Maintenance Tips Soil Requirements: Average, well-drained soil Light Requirements: Partial Shade, Shade Water Requirements: Moist Do not mix with other plants which compete Use in woodland settings under deciduous hardwoods, but not conifers Hardiness: USDA Zones 3-8 Excellent Replacement for Hedera helix - English Ivy Hosta spp. Vinca minor - PeriwinkleLearn more about other Mid-Atlantic plants: Tried and True Plant Fact Sheets.