Wednesday, April 6
This is a very unusual plant because a lot of people read the name and mistake it for being a type of apple tree but it is far from it. The May Apple is an herbal plant, and falls into the perennial category and can only reach heights of up to 18 inches. The leaves only come in one or two to a group with one or two flowers which are very uncommon. Each leaf is yellowish-green and is shaped like an umbrella.
The blooms are white at first and normally show their self in mid-spring and will continue until late spring. Most flowers have six petals, but some may have up to 9. The Mayapple does bear fruit which is similar to shape, size, and color of lime.
The Mayapple can best be found across the southeast and often in areas where the grass is seasonally mowed such as rich woods and forests. May Apples typically grow in groups or clusters and are shiny and stand out versus the flowers that need to be looked before because they hang below the leaves.
The fruit can be eaten, but the other parts of the plants are deemed to be toxic and poisonous. If the root is broken down into a powder and gets into one’s eyes, it is considered to be extremely irritant. The Mayapple has been used by the Native Americans for many, many years as a reliable laxative to treat worm and other things. It is not recommended to use this plant as a home remedy. Although it has been documented that the root of this plant has been used in cancer medications, it has also been documented that Native Americans would use this plant to commit suicide, the suicide which would happen just in a few short hours after ingestion.