Early spring begins with large umbrella shaped leaves atop a single stem poking through the forest floor followed by large, white, waxy flowers in late April. Edible yellow plum sized fruit is ready to harvest in August. This easy to grow plant provides cover and thrives in shade.
The ripe yellow fruit is edible
Large foliage offers cover for woodland critters
Box turtles and small mammals eat the fruit
Thrives in shady conditions
Early foliation and flowering
Flowers attract native insects
Thick rhizome roots hold soil well
Dappled shade from Maine to Minnesota and Nebraska south to Texas and Georgia
The Mayapple fruit is the only edible portion of the plant and it is used to make jellies, jams and pies. Long used in farming, even today corn seed may be soaked in an ooze of Mayapple root extract to keep crows and insects from eating the seed.
Prefers dappled light shade, moist to slightly dry conditions, and a rich loamy soil with abundant organic matter.