Wild Mandrake, Ground Lemon, Duck's Foot
Mayapple is a native plant that is common throughout Virginia. A lot of it grows at Monticello Park, especially on the hill on the west side of the stream. Although the flower of the Mayapple appears in early May, the fruit (or "apple") is produced in the early summer. Mayapple is now the only species remaining in its genus after all of the others were reclassified. It is sometimes called "mandrake", even though it is not related to the Old World hallucinogenic plant called Mandrake which has been used in pagan rituals. Mandrake got its name because the root is thought to resemble a human body, and people who may have been consuming hallucinogens said that the roots shrieked when pulled out of the ground.
Return to the Index