SCIENTIFIC NAME: Podophyllum peltatum
COMMON NAME(S): May apple
FAMILY: BERBERIDACEAE - Barberry family
ORIGIN: Eastern United States
HABITAT: Understory of moist woods
HEIGHT: To 1.5'
CHARACTERISTICS: Stem short, slender
LEAVES: Only 1-2 present, simple, large, to 1' wide, deeply-lobed; the lobes radiating from their connecting point at the leaf stem, pointed at tip, coarsely toothed along margin
FLOWERS: Large, about 2" wide, with 6-9 white petals, round, yellow in center, only one produced each season from the junction of the two leaf stems
FLOWERING SEASON: Spring
FRUITS: Yellow to red berry, about 2" in diameter
ALLERGENIC PRINCIPLES: Podophyllin (a crude resin with numerous active components)
ALLERGENIC PROPERTIES: Dermatological
COMMENTS: The rootstock of May apple, used as an herbal remedy, may cause severe skin and eye irritation when handled for prolonged periods. The ripe fruit is edible.