Monday, April 26, 2010

Mayapples guarantee May is coming

One of the first green plants to pop through the forest floor is the Mayapple. The plants soon cover the floor; as if, since they are early, they've got dibs on the whole area. Eyes sick of winter snow and dingy brown, hunger for the green Mayapples. You have to look underneath the Mayapple to find the white, apple blossom type flower that blooms in Indiana in May or the yellow fruit that follows in June. The leaves are shiny and larger than most plants that grow in the forest in the light starved areas underneath the trees.

My field guide says that the leaves, seeds, and roots of Mayapples are poisonous if eaten in large quantities, although the native americans used the roots as a laxative. A jelly can be made out of the ripe fruit.

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