may·​ap·​ple ˈmā-ˌa-pəl How to pronounce mayapple (audio)
: a North American herb (Podophyllum peltatum) of the barberry family with a poisonous rootstock, one or two large-lobed peltate leaves, and a single large white flower followed by a yellow egg-shaped edible fruit
also : its fruit

Examples of mayapple in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web One key tip off that morels are ready is the presence of mayapples, a woodland plant with large umbrella-like leaves. Karl Schneider, The Indianapolis Star, 11 Mar. 2024 Kuo writes that black morels appear in his area (downstate Illinois) when mayapples reach a height of 3 to 6 inches. Chelsey Lewis, Journal Sentinel, 28 Mar. 2023 The mayapple features a big, white flower that hangs down between the leaves and develops a little green fruit that like the entire plant is toxic. Peter Krouse, cleveland, 27 May 2022 In Waukesha, Linder said her blended gardens lean cottage style but also include a variety of woodland natives including wild geranium, mayapple, bloodroot, wild ginger and both red and white trillium. Jennifer Rude Klett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 5 May 2022 Norway maple is an invasive plant that has escaped from cultivation to displace sugar maple and shade to death spring wildflowers such as Dutchman’s breeches, dog-tooth violet and mayapple. Washington Post, 8 Oct. 2019 The native mayapple is a familiar woodland sight, but Avent sells a number of Asian varieties that, unlike the indigenous species, don’t slink away in the heat of summer. Adrian Higgins, Washington Post, 17 Sep. 2019 Or try native woodland wildflowers such as perennial lobelia, mayapple, columbine, thalictrum, amsonia, blood root, Solomon seal, and phlox. Real Estate, 21 Aug. 2019 The forest floor was dotted with native plants including mayapples, wood violets and jack-in-the-pulpits. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12 May 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mayapple.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



First Known Use

1731, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mayapple was in 1731

Dictionary Entries Near mayapple

Cite this Entry

“Mayapple.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


may·​ap·​ple ˈmā-ˌap-əl How to pronounce mayapple (audio)
: a North American large-leaved woodland herb related to the barberries that produces a single large waxy white flower followed by a yellow egg-shaped fruit
also : its edible fruit

Medical Definition


may·​ap·​ple ˈmā-ˌap-ᵊl How to pronounce mayapple (audio)
often capitalized
: a North American herb of the genus Podophyllum (P. peltatum) having a poisonous rootstock and rootlets that are a source of the drug podophyllum
: the yellow egg-shaped edible but often tasteless fruit of the mayapple

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