I have a little puddle of mayapples, Podophyllum peltatum, growing in my garden.  It's the plant with the umbrella shaped leave in the picture.  The other plant, with the red bloom, is a Trillium.

Both plants were rescued from a wooded area that was going to be dammed up to form a lake. Otherwise, I would have never dug them up and brought them to my garden.

I wanted the mayapples, especially, because they remind me of going mushroom hunting with my siblings and my dad when we were kids.

We'd tromp through the woods, swishing back leaves with sticks as we searched for morel mushrooms and then suddenly come across huge patches of mayapples in the middle of the woods.

I thought those patches were magical.

Now, a sensible gardener might remember "huge patches" and use caution when transplanting such a plant to her own garden. But I've never claimed to be a sensible gardener. I'll take a chance that these won't grow to be a "huge patch" because the spot where the mayapples are growing is far from ideal. Too much sun, if you ask me.

But I'll keep a watch on them, I promise. Just in case.

This illustration from Wild Flower Children by Elizabeth Gordon (1918) shows another side to mayapples. Because, well, they are magical!


  1. I was thrilled when one of my Mayapples bloomed this Spring. I have only two plants (bought at a plant sale), so that is a 50% success rate! Much better than some more expensive plants that I bought - they just turned up their toes and died on me!

  2. I too have a little patch of mayapples. They have been in the same place, sort of, for years and haven't caused any trouble with their travels.

  3. May flowers are the first thing I look for in our woodland in the Spring! I just love them!

  4. This is such a well-presented blog. The information. which is the whole point, is uncluttered, easy to read, interesting. It has been an example to me of how to do it right. Thanks for all the hard work I know it takes to publish these posts. Well Done!

  5. I agree they are magical but you were smart to give them less than ideal conditions. I originally planted some next to double bloodroot in near perfect conditions, and before I knew it the mayapples were smothering the bloodroot. I dug the mayapples out and planted them in a more challenging location. If they stayed above ground all gardening season they would be a great ground cover, but in my experience they don't.


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