Flower Friday: The sinister may-apple

In April, the forest floor is often covered with foot-high plants with umbrella-like leaves called may-apples (Podophyllum peltatum).

May-apples in April. Some have one leaf, other two.
May-apples in April. Some have one leaf, others two.
Some have one leaf, but only the ones with two leaves bear a bloom, and later, an edible fruit (the May-apple).
Only the ones with two leaves bear a bloom, and later, an edible fruit (the may-apple).

However, these plants have a rather sinister look in my opinion.

The sinister-looking may-apple about to unfold its wings, err, leaves.
The sinister-looking may-apple about to unfold its wings, err, leaves. (Please forgive the out-of-focus picture).
Look at this baby one. It looks like a green Dracula with his cape draped about him.
Look at this baby one. It looks like a green Dracula with his cape draped about him.

They kind of remind me of this guy from Disney’s Fantasia.

From the Night on Bald Mountain in Fantasia.
Chernabog from Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain, as seen in Fantasia.

 

Like the poison love-apple (the tomato), the may-apple has an edible fruit. But beware those wing-like leaves, for they, and the roots, are poisonous. So, there is some justification for my initial sense of there being something sinister about these plants.

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