Mayapples now ripening

The fruit of these native wildflowers are ripening now.  Mayapples are most often found in forests with good soils, also referred to as “rich woods.”  They are common woodland plants found throughout our area; I have inventoried them at virtually every property listed on my Area Nature Preserves, Parks and Trails page.

Earlier this year (by mid-May), Mayapples were in bloom.


Mayapple bloom

Now, however, this is what to look for:ripened Mayapple fruitPhoto Credit

But, like all fruit, it is important to pick them when fully ripened, so that you can enjoy its fullest and truly unique flavor.  Wait until the skin is a translucent yellow (as shown above); don’t pick them when they are a somewhat opaque yellow or when they are still greenish (as shown below).Mayapple fruit

Photo Credit:

The flavor is delicious and seemingly tropical; I don’t believe it compares with anything.  If you concur and are now wondering what to do with your freshly-picked fruity treasure, consider this recipe:  Mayapple Marmalade.

The book shown below contains additional Mayapple recipes; one each for punch, jam and jelly.  This book also contains many other recipes using a wide variety of wild edible plants.Wild Foods Field Guide and Cookbook (book cover)

For a more technical reading about Mayapple, view a U.S. Forest Service research paper.

Happy trails!


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