Saturday, April 23, 2011

Mayapple - Podophyllum peltatum

Mayapple is probably one of the most recognized of the spring time woodland wildflowers, but few people actually know it by its flower.

Recognition comes from the umbrella-like leaf centered on top of a single stalk. This arrangement typifies the non-flowering plant.

The stalk of a flowering specimen splits midway up, with both stalks developing leaves of a more fan-like shape that attach at the base of the fan. The single flower emerges from the fork in the stem.

Non-flowering plants usually dominate in any population, but plants with flowers should still be present. In tightly packed stands, the flowers are often overlooked because they are hidden beneath the leaf canopy. It’s worth the effort to look around for the blooms the next time you locate a patch of Mayapples.

Photos taken April 25, 2010 in Adams County, Ohio.

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