No, for any “Led Heads” out there, I’m not talking about one of rockers’ Led Zepplin’s huge hits. I’m describing one of our woodland wildflowers, the May Apple (Podophyllum peltatum). I have been seeing these wildflowers blooming for the past couple of weeks of April, giving one the perception that they may be a bit confused as to what month it really is! Actually, these woodland wildflowers can bloom anytime from March to May in our area.
Yesterday afternoon, our storms seemed to have left the area and our meteorologists are forecasting “warm and dry” for several days … just hope they are right! Anyway, I went out to the prairie meadow to check on the wildflower status. Unfortunately, all the rains and colder weather has hampered the prairie wildflowers (although there are a lot of small plants now emerging!). But to get to this meadow, there is an 1/8 mile hike (all uphill … Ugh!) through some woods. As I hiked the wooded trail, I came upon a lot of May Apples, so decided I’d post a few of the images I made yesterday:
For anyone not familiar with the May Apple, it grows mostly in either moist or dry, open woods and sometimes persists in surrounding fields that are adjacent to woods. The plant grows a single, white flower (rarely, a pink flower) that develops only on plants with 2 leaves from the axil of the leaf stems. The plant leaves can become quite large, up to a foot wide! The plant develops the “may apple”, an egg-shaped and egg-sized fruit (botanically, a berry) that is edible, with a pleasant taste. The plant’s leaves and roots are poisonous, but are purported to have medicinal use. But a sure sign that spring is upon us!