Mayapple

The mayapple grows like a lovely gem on the forest floor.  They often gather in dense clusters, making a shin-high carpet of green foliage above the clutter of last year’s leaves.  Their delicate flower blossoms in the joint between the twin leaf stalks and develops into a delectable treat–the mayapple fruit.

The name misleads us.  The fruit appear later, in the summer, and the “May” part of the name refers to the month when the flowers appear.  Also, they bear no relation to apples.  The fruit’s meat has a texture somewhat similar to an apple, I suppose, but I find it closer to that of a dry honeydew.

On my afternoon “I don’t smoke anymore so I’ll take a walk” stroll, I saw that a little patch of the umbrella-like leaves had grown above the forest floor as they stretched up toward the shady light.  They inspired me to add an entry to the REWILD field guide and to sing their praises here as well.

Use caution when sampling their offerings, however.  The plant protects itself, coursing with “strong medicine” in every part.  Only the ripe fruit befriends our bodies.  All the other parts of the plant would just as soon do you harm.

Learn more about the mayapple here, and contribute your own knowledge as well.

*I wrote this entry in e-prime. If you find any forms of the verb “to be”, let me know, so I can remove them.*

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2 responses to this post.

  1. this is lovely. thank you for the information!

    Reply

  2. […] with all the outdoor time I spent on the cattle ranch.  I learned to identify sassafras, maypop, mayapple, sweet goldenrod, and persimmon at that job.  I also remember the guilt of having to mow down […]

    Reply

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