Virginia Tech Weed Identification Guide

Mayapple or Mandrake: Podophyllum peltatum

mayapple4-18.jpg (99765 bytes) Weed Description:  A perennial herb with large, umbrella-like leaves that primarily grows in woods and forests.

Leaves:  Usually only 1 per erect stem, sometimes 2, approximately 4 to 14 inches in diameter.  Leaves are circular in outline and divided into 5 to 9 segments that arise from a central point. 

Roots:  Rhizomes and a fibrous root system.

Stems: Erect, unbranching, 8 to 20 inches in height.

Flowers: A single white flower occurs on each plant, approximately 3/4 to 2 inches in width with 6 to 9 petals.

Fruit: A relatively large (1 1/4 to 2 inch long) yellow or red berry that resembles an apple.

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Identifying Characteristics: The tendency of this plant to grow only in wooded areas, the large, umbrella-like leaves that are divided into 5 to 9 segments arising from a central point, and the characteristic apple-like berry are all characteristics that help in the identification of mayapple.