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- Mayapple - Podophyllum peltatum Hardy Planting Zones- 3-8 Sun or Shade – Woodland Shade Mature Height - 11"-18" Mature Width- 12"-16" Bloom Season – Spring (May) Gardener Status- Beginner
Enjoy The May Apple Plant All Summer
The may apple will be a delightful addition to your Spring garden. It is very easy to plant, and it will grow happily and with very minimal maintenance. Gardeners and landscapers enjoy the distinctive beauty of the may apple plant. The leaves of the plant are large, and striking in color and colossal mass. This perennial plant will look beautiful for months to come.
It will grow to a height of about 12 inches to a maximum of 18 inches. The leaves will actually grow to more than 12 inches in width. The may apple is known as a species of Podophyllum peltatum. It sometimes goes by the name of duck's foot. It is a member of the Japanese barberry family. A part of the mayapple plant, grown on the leaf as a small fruit, is considered edible by some researchers. If eaten, it should be only when the apple is fully ripe. The colors of the leaf will vary throughout the season. It will start off as a variation of olive green. Throughout the shades of olive green, there will also be a copper hue that will be evident in the early growing stages of the Spring. For most of the zones, this would be in the month of May and a bit sooner in zone 5. Later in the season, expect a change of color to solid green. It is not unusual to get variations of colors from leaf to leaf.
May apple plants are found in the northeastern areas of North America. They typically are known to prosper best in zones 3 to 8. It is recommended to plant the may apple in a sunny area in a moist soil and compost. In a more shady area, a plant will do best with abundant water. The may apple plant will blossom in the early summer, and possibly even as early as May in some climates.
Native to the Eastern United States and Canada, Map Apples usually grow in bunches from a single rhizome. Map Apples have leaves that appear in early April looking like small umbrellas. The stalk of the plant forks into two sections. Each section has broad leaves shaped somewhat like duck feet. The leaves are a medium green color. Plants tend to look like a grove of tiny palm trees in the forest. Speckles of yellow appear when the plant ripens.
The May Apple produces one flower in the fork of the plant in late April. This white flower with a yellow center will become the fruit of the May Apple. Green and egg-shaped, this fruit will ripen in late July. Some people refer to this plant as a 'ground lemon' due to the shape and color of the ripe fruit. The fruit is ready to eat when it's soft and yellow. The plant leaves will droop. This is a sign the fruit is ready.
The fruit is edible. The seeds are not. Tasting exotic and unique, many people eat the fruit raw. It can also be cooked. Jellies are a popular way to use the fruit of the May Apple. The juice is also used to add a tropical flavor to lemonade