May Apple


Hazard Information

Route: Ingestion     Plant Part: All

Scale: Low

High amounts required but can cause diarrhoea, nausea, poor muscle co-ordination, confusion, seizures, hallucinations, dizziness, rapid pulse, potentially coma


Common Name(s)

May Apple

Latin Name

Podophyllum peltatum



2 or occasionally 3 palmately lobed leaves up to 20-30 cm diameter with 5-9 deeply cut lobes on reproductive individuals, or one peltate (umbrella-like) leaf on sterile individuals. The single secund white flower 3-5 cm diameter, with six (rarely up to nine) petals, is produced at the axil of the two leaves (the upper two in a three-leaved plant); the flower matures into a yellow-greenish fruit 2-5 cm long.



The ripened fruit is edible in moderate amounts, though when consumed in large amounts the fruit is poisonous. The rhizome, foliage and roots are also poisonous.



abdominal pain


irritation of the skin, eyes, or mucous membranes(when using the resin)


nervous system effects, such as acute psychotic reactions, poor muscle coordination, confusion, dizziness, hallucinations & seizures numbness, prickling, or tingling in the arms and legs .

rapid pulse




Flowering Period



Plant is widespread and appears in clonal colonies in open mesic woodlands. Native to wooded areas of eastern North America.