The simple Mayapple

in #homesteading4 years ago (edited)

May apples 24 June.jpg

The Mayapple is an interesting little plant. In early spring the little umbrella like plants begin to pop and blanket the forest floor, but by the end of May when the weather starts to warm up they are gone.


The Mayapple is a perennial plant which blooms in May and has a golf ball sized fruit. The unripe green fruit is toxic, but the yellow fruit can be eaten in small amounts. The plant itself is poisonous. The Mayapple contains podophyllotoxin which is highly toxic and will produce nausea and vomiting as well as inflammation of the stomach and intestines. The resin from the root of the Mayapple can be used as a topical medicine to treat warts.


Maybe if I had a wart I might use the Mayapple root, but I cannot say that I am tempted to eat a Mayapple. However, there are recipes for Mayapple jelly. Notice the amount of sugar and how would you find a half a gallon of Mayapples?

8 cups ripe Mayapples
1 cup water
1 box Sure-jell
5 cups sugar

The Mayapple will soon turn yellow and be edible. They produce the fruit very quickly and then they are gone until next year. You need to diligently watching for them because the deer will usually get them first before you can.

Have a great day! Every comment is up-voted to show our appreciation and thanks for your up-vote, Tim and Joann.


When I see the Mayapple I know it is time to go looking for Morel mushrooms, they always seem to come together.

We have only found two morels so far.

Neat! I remember finding patches of these in the woods when I was a kid, and my mom warning us to NEVER eat the fruit! We never did, but we enjoyed playing among them. They give the woods an interesting, fantasy atmosphere to an imaginative child. :)

Hmm doesn’t seem to be a very practical plant/fruit, does it?

No, but they are pretty.

Interesting Tim, never seen them before. Does a lot of them grow in your area?

The are a lot, but only in the shaded areas under the trees.

First time seeing a Mayapple. I notice the recipe calls for ripe Mayapples. No toxic jelly! @ironshield

I was shocked by the fruit to sugar ratio.

I see these plants all over the place in my area right now, but didn't know what they were. Thanks for the information.

Very interesting. I did not know about using the roots to treat warts. I will have to mention this to my wife.

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