Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wildflower Wednesday

Today's wild flower is the May Apple.  I have always loved this plant.  I first saw it in the woods near our house after we had immigrated to Canada, way back in 1957.

About ten years ago I found a May Apple plant in a garden centre and decided to buy it and try to grow it in my garden.  It did well and took over a large section of my garden.  When looking down on the plants only the leaves are visible.

The leaves are arranged in pairs.  A single white flower is produced on a short stem in between the leaves.  The flower is difficult to photograph because it points downward.  But it is a very pretty white flower that later becomes a green, round fruit.  This is where the plants gets its name.

The official name for these lovely spring wild flowers is Podophyllum peltatum.  It is in the Berberidaceae family in the order Ranunculales like the buttercups.  And the flower does, indeed, look very much like a buttercup.

All parts of May Apples are poisonous.  I have heard that the ripe fruits can be eaten, but only in small amounts.  Native peoples used parts of the plant as an emetic to induce vomiting and also to treat warts.

Happy Wednesday, everybody!

1 comment:

Wacky Woman said...

It is a very sweet plant. Have a good day!