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(Podophyllum peltatum)

 mayapple flower.jpg

The umbrella-shaped leaves of mayapple can cover an entire hillside. The foot-wide leaves are glabrous and prone to get a rust at the end of the growing season. The single waxy-white flower is 2 inches across and fragrant. The flower is borne under the leaves in the angle of the petioles on a short, nodding pedicel. The 2.5 inch fruit is ripe and edible when it is completely light red. The entire plant is toxic otherwise. Mayapple can be found in all parks; Duff Park’s west slope off Forbes Trail is covered by dozens of mayapple.

All photographs taken at Duff Park by Pat Comas, Tom Morton, Kyle Selcer and Theo van de Venne.

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