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The Plant Guide

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American mandrake

Podophyllum peltatum

poe-doe-FIL-lum pel-TAY-tum

Mayapple is a rhizomatous, native woodland perennial with leaves in the shape of an umbrella. They may form large colonies. In spring, white or pale pink waxy flowers are mostly hidden under the leaves. The greenish “mayapple” follows and is often eaten by wildlife. When fully ripe, the fruits may be used to make preserves or jellies, but they are toxic when unripe. Leaves and roots are poisonous. Plants often go dormant in the summer. Grow in a woodland garden.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsUmbrellas of leaves; waxy flowers; greenish fruit.

CareGrow in leafy, moist soil in full or partial shade. Can tolerate drier soil than other species.

PropagationDivide in spring or late summer, or sow seed in an open frame as soon as ripe.

ProblemsSlugs may damage new spring growth.

  • Genus : Podophyllum
  • Plant Height : 1 to 3 feet
  • Zones : 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
  • Plant Width : 3 to 6 feet
  • Bloom Time : Early Spring, Late Spring, Spring
  • Characteristics : Fragrant Flowers, Showy Foliage
  • Maintenance : Low
  • Moisture : Medium Moisture
  • Growth Rate : Moderate
  • Light : Partial Shade to Full Shade
  • Plant Type : Perennials
  • Flower Color : Pink, White
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Spring Interest
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