Wildlife Wednesday 05/08/2024

Happy #WildlifeWednesday! April showers bring May flowers, and one of the most iconic is the mayapple.

These woodland plants are widespread throughout the eastern USA and emerge early in the spring, typically growing in large colonies from a single root. They prefer rich moist soil with plenty of organic matter and thrive in full or partial shade. Look for them in open deciduous forests, on shady hillsides, and along riverbanks.

All parts of the plant are toxic, with the exception of the ripe fruit. These “apples” are a favorite food of wild Eastern box turtles.

The plant has large umbrella-like leaves and one flower, which grows in the axil of the leaves. The nodding white flower blooms in May, and is fragrant and showy.

The grounds of TWC are covered in mayapples, and visitors can be treated to beautiful expanses of them along the Wilderness Walk, Pioneer Path, and Sigrist Woods in particular. Come visit soon as the flowers do not last for very long.

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