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Feb 15, 2006 MAY APPLE
N. Walker

Mayapples appear before the trees leaf out. The plant is sometimes called the umbrella plant because it looks like a closed umbrella when first emerging, then opens into the open umbrella shape. First year plants have only one leaf and will not bloom. Second year plants have two stems and develop a white blossom at the junction of the two stems. The white flower is about 2 inches in diameter and grows beneath the leaves. The berry that develops is the "apple" of the plant. It is reported that the apple can be eaten however the roots, stems and leaves are poisonous. Mayapples are widespread in forested land. They are observed on most hiking trails during the blooming season in early Spring and also later when they develop fruits.