Hardiness: USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 °C (-40 °F) USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 °C (-35 °F) USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 °C (-30 °F) USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 °C (-25 °F) USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F) USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F) USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F) USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F) USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F) USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F) USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F) USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F) USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F) USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)
Sun Exposure: Partial to Full Shade
Danger: Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Bloom Color: White/Near White
Bloom Time: Mid Spring
Other details: This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Soil pH requirements: 5.6 to 6.0 (acidic) 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic) 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
Patent Information: Non-patented
Propagation Methods: By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets) From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
Seed Collecting: Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible
On May 16, 2010, jleigh from Ballston Lake, NY (Zone 5a) wrote:
I saw this plant growing in the wild on a hike in the Adirondacks. The pretty little flower tucked under a large canopy of leaf... Prefers shade and nutrient rich soil of a woodland garden.
The roots are supposedly used medicinally, but all parts of plant are toxic to humans and animals if ingested in bulk. Reaction depends on sensitivity and of course weight of both the amount ingested and the ingestee.
On Apr 25, 2009, hart from Shenandoah Valley, VA wrote:
One of the signs of spring here is the mayapples magically popping up almost overnight along the roadsides in wooded areas. The blooms are mostly hidden by the foliage, but that's okay - the foliage is such a fresh, bright green and a welcome sight after winter.
This plant is apparently juglone tolerant and is thriving in fairly dry shade under a black walnut in my yard.
On Oct 26, 2007, creekwalker from Benton County, MO (Zone 5a) wrote:
I have tried for a few years to find the fruit of this plant so I could try it. The animals must love them! I have a few patches growing on my land and I will watch them flower and the fruit begin, but it always disappears before it's ripe.
This plant doesn't seem to be invasive even though it can grow in large colonies and then it dies out early and is gone for most of the summer.
On Apr 30, 2006, vorlonken from Andover, CT wrote:
I first discovered this plant growing on our property in Preston, CT. It makes a wonderful groundcover where it gets semi-shade. The sunnier the location the earlier it goes dormant, so at least partial shade is important. Under the correct conditions this plant forms dense colonies of overlapping leaves that will shade out other weeds. It is a very effective weed controlling groundcover!
I transplanted a few plants to my small property in Willimantic where it completely filled a difficult location under a maple tree on my property line in about 5 years. I always looked forward to seeing it come up because I knew for sure that Spring had arrived.
When I moved to a 3.5 acre property in Andover 5 years ago I again brought some plants with me and planted them in various locations where I thought they'd be happy and that were in need of this kind of colonizing plant. For some reason they have not prospered. They do come up every year but they are not spreading the way I want them to. I just collected about 30 additional plants from the original Preston location and will try them in some different locations where I hope they will do well.
I really love this native plant and I can't recommend it highly enough. In the proper location it will colonize a large area in a few years. If it goes further than you like it is easy to remove encroaching plants - so while it spreads I would not call it invasive. It's not hard to control at all. The rhizomatus root system runs about 1" under the soil.
On Feb 14, 2006, WUVIE from Hulbert, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:
Several years back, I would admire these plants
each spring alongside the highway. They seem
like little Brownie umbrellas to me, and gave way for
the imagination to go wild.
To make a long story short, I found a small patch on our
property, transplanted them and waited patiently for
the bloom. I kept my fingers crossed for more the following
Fast forward to 2003. Upon walking about our property
in early spring, I happened upon the largest patch of
Mandrake I'd ever seen, right there in our own back
yard so to speak, and I never even knew they were
What a sight! It looked like something out of a movie, so
lush, so green, so shiny!
I can't wait until this spring, where I will sneak in a
visit to my own little Brownie Patch in the back yard
and a picture for Dave's Garden to boot.
On Feb 21, 2004, suncatcheracres from Old Town, FL wrote:
Large patches of this plant grow in the steeply ridged woods behind my son's house in Coweta County, Georgia, about 40 miles Southwest of Atlanta. Of course before his subdivision was bulldozed in, I'm sure they grew on his property too, as that whole ridge is second growth oaks, hickory, and some tulip poplar, with mainly dogwoods and black gums as understory. This ridge falls down to a boulder strewn rushing creek that goes pretty rapidly through a steep drop at this point, and while I was living there it was always fun to walk the dogs through the deer paths in these woods and look at all of the various wild flowers. These plants grew in the sunniest part of the woods, I noticed, and weren't found in the really steep, densely shaded parts.
On Feb 20, 2004, jesup from Malvern, PA (Zone 7a) wrote:
Member of the barberry family; they grow wild in patches over a wide area of the eastern US and Canada. They spear up through leaves, etc early in the spring and spread a canopy 12-18" high and 8-16" wide. Shoots with a single canopy have no flower; ones with a dual canopy will develop a flower. They mostly spread by thick, deep rhizome and form patches.
It makes a good groundcover for the early part of the year; at least in this area of PA it tends to disappear by mid-summer when the fruit ripens - around July to September, depending on location. Also it appears vulnerable to an orange rust fungus. It does not need direct sunlight though it tolerates it. Once established it spreads readily.
As stated, they are very poisonous in general (potentially fatally so). They are not "true" mandrake, which is a European plant of the nightshade family. The fruit is edible (though the seeds are poisonous) and is considered by some to be a delicacy, but apparently it has a significant laxative effect. Supposedly it tastes lemony or somewhat like a "paw-paw" (Asimina triloba). When ripe it is a pale yellowy color. Recipes for it can be found in wild edible plant books; it can be eaten raw or made into pies, jellies or preserves; and it also can be juiced.
Native Americans used the plant medicinally. Warning: apparently a few people get dermatitis after handling the rootstock.
There are about 10 species of the mayapple throughout North America. The fruits are edible and taste like lemon. The rest of the plant is highly toxic. The rhizomes contain a cancer fighting substance and is listed in the US Pharmacopeia but it is way too intense for do-it-yourselfers
Please don't try it at home.
A single stem with 2 leaves per plant. Directly between the two leaf nodes a flower will appear, leaving behind a mayapple fruit.
Grows usually in wooded areas to a height of 12 to 18 inches tall. The flower is white and blooms in April.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
, (2 reports) Gadsden, Alabama Indian Springs Village, Alabama Oakman, Alabama Briarcliff, Arkansas Magnet Cove, Arkansas Morrilton, Arkansas Andover, Connecticut East Haddam, Connecticut Between, Georgia Cordele, Georgia Champaign, Illinois Forest Lake, Illinois Jacksonville, Illinois La Grange Park, Illinois Machesney Park, Illinois Washington, Illinois Barbourville, Kentucky Benton, Kentucky Cadiz, Kentucky Custer, Kentucky Hopkinsville, Kentucky Louisville, Kentucky Melbourne, Kentucky Monticello, Kentucky Murray, Kentucky Brunswick, Maine Baltimore, Maryland Brookeville, Maryland Cresaptown-bel Air, Maryland Frederick, Maryland Loch Lynn Heights, Maryland Valley Lee, Maryland Beverly, Massachusetts Cochituate, Massachusetts Northfield, Massachusetts Rochdale, Massachusetts Salem, Massachusetts Worcester, Massachusetts Ann Arbor, Michigan Caro, Michigan Eastpointe, Michigan Erie, Michigan Pinconning, Michigan Royal Oak, Michigan Smiths Creek, Michigan Fridley, Minnesota Minneapolis, Minnesota St Paul, Minnesota Marietta, Mississippi Cole Camp, Missouri Fulton, Missouri Grovespring, Missouri Piedmont, Missouri Rindge, New Hampshire Hamilton, New Jersey Country Knolls, New York Croton-on-hudson, New York High Falls, New York Jordan, New York New York, New York Salt Point, New York Wynantskill, New York Barker Ten Mile, North Carolina Chapel Hill, North Carolina Elizabeth City, North Carolina Glen Raven, North Carolina Trinity, North Carolina Blanchester, Ohio Cincinnati, Ohio Cleveland, Ohio Fresno, Ohio Lewis Center, Ohio Swanton, Ohio Youngstown, Ohio Claremore, Oklahoma Hulbert, Oklahoma Florence, Oregon Portland, Oregon Elkins Park, Pennsylvania Greencastle, Pennsylvania Havertown, Pennsylvania Laflin, Pennsylvania Malvern, Pennsylvania Mifflintown, Pennsylvania Millersburg, Pennsylvania West Newton, Pennsylvania Conway, South Carolina Collinwood, Tennessee Lenoir City, Tennessee Michie, Tennessee Viola, Tennessee Austin, Texas Dike, Texas Roman Forest, Texas Fort Valley, Virginia Leesburg, Virginia Lexington, Virginia Merrimac, Virginia Roanoke, Virginia Seattle, Washington Elkins, West Virginia Rhinelander, Wisconsin