“Draped in leafy cloaks, the Mayapples looked like tiny phantoms, gathering on the forest floor.” – Ed Lehming
I could not not resist this image of an emerging Mayapple that I found last week. As I scanned the forest floor, I noticed a dark patch of foliage in the distance. Upon investigation I found it to be a large colony of Mayapples (Podophyllum peltatum), hundreds of them occupying an hollow.
Mayapples around here tend to be fairly interspersed, but do grow in colonies, seemingly quite fussy about where they grow, so to find a large patch like this was unique. As I looked around at the recently emerged plants I could not help but see them as a meeting of cloaked phantoms, a bit sinister looking, as if the leaves covered some hunch-shouldered creature, especially the ones with fruit on them.
We are still having cool evenings in this area, so it’s not surprising that the Mayapples, as with so many other spring flowers, have mechanisms to protect the tender plants from the cold. The tight ‘cloaks’ protects the flower buds from freezing and will eventually open up a broad umbrella-shaped leaves.
I’m hoping to get back this week to photograph them in bloom.
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/160 sec, f/14, ISO 800