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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.
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.
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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