In the woods

Mayapples, Podophyllum peltatum, not yet in bloom, in Prospect Park.

“He loved the woods for their freshness, their sublime solitudes, their vastness, and the impress they everywhere bore of the divine hand of their Creator. He seldom moved through them without pausing to dwell on some peculiar beauty that gave him pleasure […]” James Fenimore Cooper, The Deerslayer.
Two days after taking the shot that starts off this post, I was in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Native Flora Garden. There, the may apples were blooming. Note that these flowers bloom underneath the canopy-like leaves of the plant, so you have to look for them.
They are one of the secrets of the woods.

7 Responses to “In the woods”


  1. 1 Gerry April 26, 2010 at 9:48 am

    Wren and I were also admiring these at BBG on Saturday. Seeing those well-hidden flowers made me wonder which pollinators would be intrepid and imaginative enough to find the flowers—they sure don’t advertise themselves to insects flying around (maybe their floral show is aimed at ants?). Just found what looks to be a good article that I’ll read more later on and thought you might enjoy.
    deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/60727/1/jcrants_1.pdf

  2. 2 mthew April 26, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Thanks. That’s a dissertation, so I’ll probably just stick to the abstract, intro, and conclusion. Basically, mayapples don’t produce nectar, so they do not reward pollinators. Honeybees love their pollen, but of course honeybees are not a native species and the mayapple is. Curiouser and curioser. It’s also clonal….

  3. 3 Katie May 7, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    Have you ever eaten a mayapple? The fruit smells like apple Jolly Rancher candy.


  1. 1 Tweets that mention In the woods « Backyard and Beyond -- Topsy.com Trackback on April 28, 2010 at 1:25 pm
  2. 2 Mayapple | Backyard and Beyond Trackback on April 22, 2013 at 7:30 am
  3. 3 A Patch of Mayapples | Backyard and Beyond Trackback on August 16, 2018 at 7:01 am

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