Mayapple Fruit

The Mayapple and its unripened fruit

The Mayapple and its unripened fruit

On May 14th, we encountered a large patch of Mayapples while hiking along Carroll Road.  At the time, the plant was green, healthy, and sporting a beautiful white flower.  Since then, nearly two months have passed, and the plant has begun to turn brown in spots, and it now holds a small fruit that has yet to ripen.  Sometime over the next few weeks, the Mayapple plant will continue to wither, and its fruit will turn a waxy yellow, which is a sure sign that it’s ripe.

I’ve done a little bit of research and have learned that the pulp of the yellowed fruit is (supposedly) edible.  I say supposedly because I would suggest consulting more of an expert opinion before partaking of them.  There are recipes for using this fruit on the internet.  The most common ones are for jam, but one of the more unique ones is for Mayapple punch, which consists of one part Mayapple juice mixed with seven parts lemonade.  I’m up for trying new things, and I’m planning on harvesting a few of these (allegedly) tasty morsels over the coming weeks.  If there aren’t any posts on this site in the near future, that probably means my little experiment has failed.  Wish me luck!

This shows the fruit in scale.  I always welcome comments, but if a palm reader drops in to tell me that my life line is running short, I'd rather not hear about it!

This shows the fruit in scale. I always welcome comments, but if a palm reader drops in to tell me that my lifeline is running short, I’d rather not hear about it!

 

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Jamie on July 12, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    I’ll be waiting to hear how the punch turns out!

    From the size of the fruit, it would seem as if quite a few would be required to get enough juice to make a tumbler of the drink – even at one part to seven. My dad used to make all kinds of things from various plants which grew on our farm. However, I don’t ever remember him using mayapple even though we had a number of them. Perhaps they were not present where he was raised in WV and he had no experience with them.

    Reply

    • Posted by LevelWalker on July 13, 2014 at 11:58 am

      I was in Green Ridge yesterday, and the mayapples there were on their way out and devoid of fruit. Maybe I’m a little bit paranoid, but growing up, my father always told me they were poisonous. From what I’ve read, they are until they turn yellow. I will continue to look for the ripened fruit, and if I find any, I will do a lot more reading before I do anything (drastic)with them.

      With that said, I would like to harvest a few paw paws this year. I remember eating them when I was a kid and thinking they were pretty good. There’s a bit of a hotspot close to Dam 4, and I’m going to try to get there in late September or early October before they’re gone. Last year Candee’s son got a couple of (nearly ripe) green ones and they ripened sufficiently in his window sill.

      Reply

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