- Podophyllum peltatum

Light: Partial, Shade
Soil: Sand, Loam, Clay
Moisture: Medium, Moist
Benefits: Pollinators
Height: 1'-2'
Blooms: May, Jun
Zones: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Color: White
Spacing: 1'
Root: Rhizome

QuantityPrice Ea.
1-4 Bare Root $7.99
5-10 Bare Root $6.99
11-31 Bare Root $5.99
32 Bare Root $4.99


Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum) is sometimes referred to as the Umbrella Plant because of its large, palmate leaves. Planted two-feet-on-center, Mayapple will creep slowly by rhizomes to form a 1' - 2' high groundcover. It is known to grow well under some pines. The umbrella-like leaves protect a single, fragrant white flower located in the 'Y' of the stem. The flowers are beneficial for a variety of early season pollinators. The large leaves will go dormant, later in the summer. Mayapple does in any well-drained soil in shade to partial sun.

After blooming, the mayapple flower turns into a yellow apple-like fruit. The fruit ripens and softens later in the summer and the weight of the fruit eventually causes the senescing stalk to bend over and set the fruit on the ground. The fruit emits a fruity aroma that is attractive to box turtles (Terrapene carolina). The ripe fruit is consumed and the seeds pass throught the turtle’s digetestive system to be deposited away from the parent plant. Studies show that seeds transported by turtles have 40% higher germination success than those simply left on the ground. There is some evidence that other mammals, such as the opossum and racoon, may also disperse the seed.

Note: The fruit and plant parts are poisonous to humans in large amounts.

Planting Tips: We recommend planting ephemerals in early fall while the soil is still warm, or in early spring. Spring installations will have some time to develop before summer dormancy, but will not produce flowers the first year. An early fall planting allows the roots time to establish properly before winter, and gives the plants a stronger start the following spring. This woodland species appreciates a generous application of leaf mulch in the fall.

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