Mayapple, Ban kakri, Podophyllum Peltatum - Plant
Description for Mayapple, Ban kakri, Podophyllum Peltatum
Podophyllum is an herbaceous perennial plant in the family Berberidaceae, described as a genus by Linnaeus in 1753. In the past, several species were included in the genus, but all but one have been transferred to other genera.
From a single stem, each plant features one or two, deeply-divided, palmately-lobed, umbrella-like, pale green leaves. Flowers are quite showy but usually hidden by the umbrella-like leaves. Each flower gives way to an edible, fleshy, greenish fruit.
|Common name||Flower colours||Bloom time||Height||Difficulty|
|May-apple, American mandrake, wild mandrake, ground lemon||White||April||1 to 1.50 feet||Easy to grow|
Planting and care
Mayapples can either be grown from Rhizomes or from seeds. If growing from Rhizomes bury them about 3 cm deep. The seeds should be fresh and sown into flats, under glass, in a shaded part of the garden in august or September
Seeds can take from one to six months to germinate. Once you see seedlings let them grow for a year; transplant to individual pots and allow the Mayapple to grow for a further year, then transplant into the garden in spring or autumn.
|Full Sun||Average, medium moisture, well-drained soil||Medium||-15 degrees C||Apply any organic fertilizer|
Caring for Mayapple
- The ground that Podophyllum plants grow in should be mulched in spring (wood chips) and autumn (leaf mild) to protect the plant.
- As they like a moist soil they should be watered frequently.
- If you require more plants then they can be propagated by division once the plant has finished flowering.
Typical uses of Mayapple
Special features: Excellent for naturalizing in woodland settings, wild or native plant gardens. Because plants naturalize freely but go dormant in summer (foliage disappears), mayapple is not considered a good border plant.
Culinary use: NA
Ornamental use: The plant is used for an ornamental purpose.
Medicinal use: Mayapple has been used by American Indians as an emetic, cathartic, and antihelmintic agent.
- Ernest Small and Paul M. Catling (1999), "Podophyllum peltatum L. (May-apple)", Canadian Medicinal Crops, NRC Research Press
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