Saturday, March 25, 2023

Pic(k) of the Week: Mayapple blooms in March

Mayapple blooms in March

It may have been 0 °C in DeKalb County, Georgia, USA, on 19 March 2023, but the native plant restoration was blossoming in the Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve.

Podophyllum peltatum is an herbaceous woodland plant in the family Berberidaceae —with common names of mayapple, American mandrake, wild mandrake, and ground lemon— widespread across most of the eastern United States and southeastern Canada.

The mayapple grows only two leaves and one flower, which appears in the axil of the leaves (where the leaf joins the stem). The stems grow to 30–40 cm (12 in to 16 in) tall; the leaves grow up to eight inches in diameter (20–40 cm) with three to nine deeply cut lobes. The flowers are white, yellow or red, one to two inches in diameter (2–6 cm), with six to nine petals, maturing into a large, fleshy, lemon-shaped berry, one to two inches long (2–5 cm).

All the parts of the plant are poisonous, including the green fruit, but once the fruit has ripened and turned yellow, it can be safely eaten, as the ripe fruit does not produce toxicity.

Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve is a citizen-run, 28-acre park, located in an urban area between the cities of Decatur and Atlanta, Georgia.

A few years ago, the preserve brought in sheep to eradicate (i.e., eat!) an infestation of invasive plants in the park. Species such as English ivy, Chinese privet, and kudzu were out-competing and ultimately destroying native plants that local pollinators and the native ecosystem depended upon.

As the invaders were vanquished, the natives began to return. Such as the mayapple.

Here's another view: top-down and pre-bloom.

March Mayapple

  • Pic(k) of the Week: one in a weekly series of images posted on Saturdays, occasionally, but not always (as is the case today), with a good fermentable as the subject.
  • Photo 13 of 52, for year 2023.
    • See a hi-res version of Image 1 on Flickr: here.
    • Image 2: here.
  • Commercial reproduction requires explicit permission, as per Creative Commons.

  • Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M10 II.
      • Image 1
        • Lens: Olympus M.14-42mm F3.5-5.6 II R
        • Settings: 17 mm | 1/80 sec | ISO 400 | ƒ/5.6
      • Image 2
        • Lens: Lumix G 20/F1.7 II
        • Settings: 20 mm | 1/25 sec | ISO 800 | ƒ/16.0

  • For more from YFGF:

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