Mayapple Blooms

The first week of May heralded the arrival of Mayapple flowers. For a couple of weeks now the showy umbrella-shaped leaves have been expanding to their full size. Some are over a foot wide. The flowers are located underneath the canopy of huge green leaves.

Mayapple flower and bud at the Y of two leaves.

Mayapple flower and bud at the “Y” of two leaves.

Usually the mayapple has two leaves overhanging a solitary flower that is borne from the “Y” of the two leaf stems. Here, we found a colony of mayapple containing a few plants having only one leaf over the single flower, which is contrary to what you might read in some wildflower books.

Single blossom underneath a single mayapple leaf.Single mayapple blossom.

Single mayapple leaf and blossom.

Single and double leaves of mayapple over a solitary blossom.

Single and double leaves overhanging the solitary mayapple flower. 

Besides the mayapples there are wild geraniums in bloom along the lane and in the woods under a light canopy of deciduous trees. The ground berries or brambles are ever present now and will bloom repeatedly for a month or more. The lily-of-the-valley is still in bloom and giving off its beautiful scent. The last of the common violets has faded away this week.

Lily-of-the-valley is still blooming and giving off its sweet scent.

Lily-of-the-valley is still blooming and giving off its sweet scent.

Bright yellow flowers in the yard are five-petaled cinquefoil.

Bright yellow flowers in the yard are five-petaled cinquefoil.

Well, about a week before Mother’s Day seems like a good time to come out and view the Mayapples blooming in Pennsylvania. I always liked the canopy-effect the huge leaves make. It’s easy to imagine little fairies romping underneath the mayapples!
Mayapple flowers under the canopy.

Mayapple flowers under the canopy.

7 thoughts on “Mayapple Blooms

  1. Thank you so much for these wonderful photos and descriptions of the Mayapple! These are the best that I have been able to find. Using your site,I will feel better able to identify this blooming in our woods next spring. THANK YOU! BEAUTIFUL!

  2. Hi Sandra! Welcome to WildeHerb!
    I’m glad you enjoyed the photos of Mayapples. Next year you can start looking for them in May, of course. Where is your woody location?
    Thanks for leaving a comment!

  3. How old is a mayapple when it will first bloom? I bought one last year and now have three but no blooms yet.

  4. Hi Judy,
    The Mayapple plant will bloom as a second year plant, so yours may be lacking some special nutrient. Don’t worry though, by its producing more leaves you know that the rhizome (underground stem) is spreading and the plant is growing. It may have been put off by having been transferred when you re-planted it after purchase.

    Hopefully next year it will have all the ingredients to treat you to a bloom or two!
    Good luck!

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