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May-apple Podophyllum peltatum

Phonetic Spelling
poh-doh-FY-lum pel-TAY-tum
This plant has high severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

A perennial herb with its stem unbranched.  It can be found in forests or natural areas in rich woods and fields, pastures.  It often grows in colonies.  The plant is dormant in the summer months, the foliage disappears.   Each plant will have 1-2 large, rounded, umbrella-like, deeply divided lobed leaves that are attached to the stalk near the middle of the leaf.  

Each plants 1" solitary white flower. which is 6-9 parted, is seen as nodding and hangs in axil between the plants 2 leaves.  The sepals are shed as the flower opens, revealing 6 -9 waxy petals and 12 to 18 stamens with bright yellow anthers.  Plants having only one umbrella-like leaf will not flower.

The fruit is apple-like, yellow when ripe and about the size of a small lemon.  However, unripened fruit and leaves are highly toxic if ingested.  

See this plant in the following landscape:
Shaded Slope
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#white#showy flowers#yellow#poisonous#partial shade#drought tolerant#perennial#white flowers#shade tolerant#showy fruits#NC native#edible fruits#spring interest#wildflower garden#edible#food source pollen#dry soils tolerant#food source soft mast fruit#FACU Piedmont Mountains#FACU Coastal#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#audubon
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#white#showy flowers#yellow#poisonous#partial shade#drought tolerant#perennial#white flowers#shade tolerant#showy fruits#NC native#edible fruits#spring interest#wildflower garden#edible#food source pollen#dry soils tolerant#food source soft mast fruit#FACU Piedmont Mountains#FACU Coastal#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#audubon
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Podophyllum
    Species:
    peltatum
    Family:
    Berberidaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    South East Canada to Central & Eastern U.S.A
    Edibility:
    EDIBLE PARTS: Ripe (yellow and soft) fruit is edible raw but in limited quantity. CAUTION: The roots and leaves are poisonous. Do NOT eat. HARVEST TIME: Collect in August or September. Only collect fruit from areas you know have NOT been treated with pesticides. SAFE HANDLING PROCEDURE: Wash fruit thoroughly with warm water. Do not use dish detergent or any type of sanitizer. These products can leave a residue. The fruit has a lemon-like flavor and can be used to make jams, jellies, and marmalade.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 9 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Poisonous
    Wildflower
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Horizontal
    Open
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Fruit Description:
    Fleshy-green apple-like fruit, gold in color when ripe. The fruit is edible only when ripe.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Petals:
    7 - 20 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    1 in. solitary flower borne at the fork of the two leaf stalks; the six sepals are shed as the flower opens; 6 to 9 waxy white petals; 12 to 18 stamens with bright yellow anthers.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Rosulate
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Pair of long-stalked umbrella-like leaves, attached to the stalk near the middle of the leaf; leaves deeply divided into 5 to 7 coarsely toothed lobes and 2-clefted at the end; nonflowering plants have a single umbrella-like leaf at the top of the stem.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Native Garden
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Specialized Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    High
    Poison Symptoms:
    The unripe fruit and leaves cause salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, excitement, headache, fever, lethargy, panting, coma (rare); dermal - redness, skin ulcers.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Podophyllin
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Fruits
    Leaves