M is for Mayapple

Mayapple

The Mayapple, Podophyllum peltatumis, a terrific spring plant whose flower is ofter overlooked–except by us squirrels, and the occasional box turtle. Actually, we think the turtles overlook the flowers and focus on the mayAPPLE itself, because they are one of the only animals that eat them.

Why? Because the fruit of the mayapple is poisonous, except when it is ripe. How do you tell when it’s ripe? By smell.

Mayapple fruit

Tough, huh?

That’s why you’ll see we tagged this plant as ‘danger’ and ‘plants that are not food’. None of us squirrels here at The Squirrel Nutwork are willing to take a chance on eating Mayapples, and neither should you humans. Leave the mayapple eating to the box turtles.

Mayapple

 

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