Growing Mayapple Plants In Your Garden

Growing Mayapple Plants In Your Garden

Mayapples are native woodland plants that are widespread across most of eastern North America south to Texas in zones 3 to 8. Mayapple plants in gardens are grown primarily for their deeply cut, umbrella-like leaves. The blooming period is short, lasting only two to three weeks in mid- to late spring. The flowers, which resemble apple blossoms and typically appear in May (hence the name), aren’t usually numerous, and although they are attractive in their own right, they are usually hidden under the big, showy leaves. The low-growing foliage remains attractive until it dies down in late summer. Mayapple wildflowers are difficult to grow from seeds, but the rhizomes are easily established. This is a good time to mention that, like many rhizomatic plants, mayapple can be somewhat aggressive in certain conditions. Mayapples thrive in dry, semi-shady conditions. Consider planting mayapple wildflowers under the dappled light provided by pines or other deciduous trees. They work well in woodland gardens.

Pollinated flowers are followed in early summer by fleshy, ovoid to lemon-shaped fruits (a berry) containing several tan seeds. These green “apples” ripen to a golden color, sometimes tinged with pink or purple, later in the summer. The 1½-2 inch long fruits (but not the seeds) are edible, but bland, when ripe and can be used in jellies or preserves. They may also be eaten by box turtles and other wildlife that disperse the seeds. Plants will self-seed under ideal growing conditions.

Outdoor Backyard With Mayapple Plants

Mayapple wildflowers (Podophyllum peltatum) are unique, fruit-bearing plants that grow primarily in woodlands where they frequently form a thick carpet of bright green foliage.

Outdoor Backyard With Mayapple Plants

Garden With Mayapple Outdoor Plants

Mayapple plants are sometimes found in open fields as well.

Garden With Mayapple Outdoor Plants

Mayapple Plants In The Garden

Mayapple roots, leaves and seeds are highly toxic when eaten in large quantities. The leaves, which are extremely bitter, are even left alone by grazing wildlife.

Mayapple Plants In The Garden

Green Outdoor Mayapple Plants

If you live in USDA plant hardiness zones 4 through 8, you may be able to grow mayapple in your own garden.

Green Outdoor Mayapple Plants

Backyard Garden With Green Mayapple Plants

These native wildflowers are often grown as ornamental plants for their attractive foliage and flowers.

Backyard Garden With Green Mayapple Plants

Garden With Mayapple Wildflower Plants

These plants are perfect for naturalizing in a woodland garden or native plant garden.

Garden With Mayapple Wildflower Plants

Green Leaves Of Mayapple Plants

This plant is rarely used in borders, as it goes dormant in the summer, leaving a large gap that is difficult to fill, and does not like competition.

Green Leaves Of Mayapple Plants

Outdoor Mayapple Plants In The Yard

Mayapple needs partial or full shade to thrive, and prefers rich, moist soil with abundant organic matter.

Outdoor Mayapple Plants In The Yard
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