Podophyllum peltatum (Mayapple)
|Also known as:||Wild Mandrake, Ground Lemon|
|Habitat:||part shade; rich woods|
|Bloom season:||May - June|
|Plant height:||1 to 2 feet|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: FACU MW: FACU NCNE: FACU|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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A single nodding flower 1 to 2 inches across on a stalk arising where the stem forks at the top of the plant. Flowers have 6 to 9 round white petals and twice as many yellow stamens surrounding a pale greenish yellow columnar ovary in the center.
Leaves and stem:
Leaves are umbrella-like, up to 16 inches in diameter, palmately lobed in 5 to 9 parts; lobes may be further divided or deeply notched at the tip and lobe edges may be toothed to varying degrees. Flowering plants have a pair of leaves forking at the top of the stem, each leaf on a long stalk. Sterile plants have a single leaf. Leaves and stems are hairless. The base of the main stem is sheathed.
The natural range of Mayapple is limited to the southeastern part of the state, south of Dakota County, but this species does well in garden settings farther north, and is gaining popularity. It can form large colonies, spreading by its root system (rhizomes),
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Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk, taken at the U of M Arboretum, and in private gardens in St. Louis and Washington counties
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?