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Mayapple

Mayapple
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Price: $3.99
Availability: 30
Model: Podophyllum peltatum
Average Rating: Not Rated

The stems grow to 30-40 cm tall, with palmately lobed leaves up to 20-30 cm diameter with 5-9 deeply cut lobes. Young or weakened plants produce a single radial (umbrella-like) leaf and do not flower, while mature plants produce two (rarely three) palmate leaves and a single white flower 3-5 cm diameter with six (rarely up to nine) petals; the flower matures into a yellow-greenish fruit 2-5 cm long. The plant appears in colonies in open woodlands. Individual shoots are often connected by systems of thick tubers and rhizomes.

Despite the common name mayapple, it is the flower that appears in early May, not the "apple", which appears later during the summer. The mayapple is also called the hogapple, Indian apple, mayflower, umbrella plant (shape of the leaves), wild lemon (flavor of the fruit), wild mandrake, American mandrake (shape of rhizomes) or "devil's apple" (used for Solanum linnaeanum elsewhere).

According to Brian Fondren, the rhizome of the mayapple has been used for a variety of medicinal purposes, originally by Native Americans and later by other settlers.

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