Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum L.)
Mayapple is a perennial herb of the Barberry family. Leaves are umbrella-shaped and are about 8 inches wide with 5-9 lobes. Plants that have a single leaf do not flower, while those with two leaves develop a single flower in the axil of the leaf stalks. The flower appears at the end of the downward-curved flower stalk about 1 inch long. The flower, with 6 or more white petals and about 1.5-2 inches across, blooms in April to May, and is eventually replaced by a green ovoid fruit. The plant withers away by mid-summer.
Although the creeping, fleshy rhizome has been used to prepare medicine commercially, it is poisonous by contact. The green leaves and unripened fruit are poisonous but the fruit becomes edible as it ripens and turns greenish-yellow in color.
| Distribution | Conditions of poisoning | Toxic principle | Clinical signs |
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