Podophyllum peltatum - L.
Mayapple
Other Common Names: mayapple
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Podophyllum peltatum L. (TSN 18850)
French Common Names: podophylle pelté
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.157183
Element Code: PDBER08010
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Barberry Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Ranunculales Berberidaceae Podophyllum
Check this box to expand all report sections:
Concept Reference
Help
Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Podophyllum peltatum
Conservation Status
Help

NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 13Jul2015
Global Status Last Changed: 03May1984
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: This species has a very broad range, has a wide variety of wooded habitats across its range, and is regularly encountered in appropriate habitat (Schafale pers. comm.). It tolerates moderate disturbance (Homoya pers. comm.) and can be found in regenerating woodlands. At present, collection for the plant trade seems to only be at very low levels.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5
Nation: Canada
National Status: N5 (13Nov2017)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (SNR), Arkansas (SNR), Connecticut (SU), Delaware (S5), District of Columbia (S5), Florida (S1), Georgia (SNR), Illinois (SNR), Indiana (SNR), Iowa (S5), Kansas (SNR), Kentucky (S5), Louisiana (SNR), Maine (SNA), Maryland (SNR), Massachusetts (SNR), Michigan (SNR), Minnesota (SNR), Mississippi (SNR), Missouri (SNR), Nebraska (S3), New Hampshire (SNR), New Jersey (S5), New York (S5), North Carolina (S5), Ohio (SNR), Oklahoma (SNR), Pennsylvania (SNR), Rhode Island (SNA), South Carolina (SNR), Tennessee (SNR), Texas (SNR), Vermont (S1), Virginia (S5), West Virginia (S5), Wisconsin (SNR)
Canada New Brunswick (SNA), Nova Scotia (SNA), Ontario (S5), Quebec (S2)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Eastern North America, from Nova Scotia and Ontario (USDA-NRCS 1999), New England (Brumback and Mehrhoff 1996), west to Minnesota, eastern Kansas (Freeman pers. comm.) and Nebraska (Steinauer pers. comm.); south to Texas, Louisiana (USDA-NRCS 1999), throughout Alabama to the panhandle of Florida (Schotz pers. comm.); east to the Carolinas.

Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300
Number of Occurrences Comments: Probably tens or hundreds of thousands of populations are extant rangewide. Connecticut: 1?; Iowa: several dozen to hundreds; Indiana: thousands; Kansas: >100; Maryland: hundreds; North Carolina: thousands; Nebraska: 25-50?, 2 known; New Hampshire: 1?; Rhode Island: 2 (introduced); South Carolina: hundreds; Tennessee: several hundred or perhaps thousands; Vermont: 2; Quebec: 7 (5 likely introduced by Native Americans, 2 in old gardens) (Brumback and Mehrhoff 1996, APSU 1999).

Since this is such a common species throughout much of its range, these numbers can only be estimates. Additional information on species distribution and the number of populations can be gleaned from county occurrence dot maps (USDA-NRCS 1999).

Population Size Comments: Typically, a population consists of one to several clones (Schafale pers. comm.); the largest population in Quebec consists of tens of thousands of stems within a 500 meter square area (Labrecque pers. comm.).

Overall Threat Impact Comments: There is evidence from a reliable source that plant collecting from wild populations is occurring for the plant trade on national forest lands in North Carolina (Kauffman pers. comm., Corbin pers. comm.). Collection permits for Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests in North Carolina were for the following amounts (dry weight): 1997 - 3600 lbs.; 1998 - 600 lbs.; 1999 - 3200 lbs. (Kauffman pers. comm.).

A large dealer in herbs based in the southern Appalachians sold 2,000-3,000 lbs. (dry) in 1999 (Fletcher pers. comm.).

This species is not among the high-price medicinal species in the black market (Corbin pers. comm.), and wildcrafting of this species may be very limited in scale (Suggs pers. comm.). The market has been erratic the past few years (Blakley pers. comm.), with some batches being thrown out when prices plummeted after it was announced that medications developed from this species may be carcinogenic (Fletcher pers. comm., Suggs pers. comm.). Nevertheless, there may be renewed interest in this species for other purposes (Fletcher pers. comm.), as evidenced by the collection permits within two Forest Service districts in North Carolina. There are varying reports of current sources of the bioactive compound, podophyllin, found in this species; Suggs (pers. comm.) thinks that it is from an oriental species of Podophyllum, whereas Blakley (pers. comm.) thinks it is being generated synthetically. Some companies have discontinued offering this product (Halvorsen pers. comm.). In Tennessee, this plant is collected from the wild and sold as nursery stock (Warren Co. Nursery).

A person knowledgable about the herbal medicinal trade says that the plant receives only very modest usage, estimated at less than one thousand pounds per year (M. McGuffin pers. comm.).

As with all native forest herbs, habitat conversion and urban/rural development are significant direct threats (Homoya pers. comm., Pittman pers. comm., Kunsman pers. comm., Pearson pers. comm., Schafale pers. comm.).

Threats to the two native populations in Vermont are extensive logging (although selective logging in the winter would be less damaging) and road widening (Vermont Nongame and Natural Heritage).

It is possible that North Carolina populations seldom set fruit, and that reproduction from seed may be rare (Schafale pers. comm.). Only rarely have fruit been observed in North Carolina, in contrast with abundant ripe fruit observed in southern Illinois (Schafale pers. comm.).

Short-term Trend Comments: This species is likely stable throughout much of its range. Monitoring would be necessary in order to determine whether species is stable or declining.

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: The species tolerates moderate disturbance (Homoya pers. comm.) and can be found in regenerating woodlands.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
Help
Global Range: Eastern North America, from Nova Scotia and Ontario (USDA-NRCS 1999), New England (Brumback and Mehrhoff 1996), west to Minnesota, eastern Kansas (Freeman pers. comm.) and Nebraska (Steinauer pers. comm.); south to Texas, Louisiana (USDA-NRCS 1999), throughout Alabama to the panhandle of Florida (Schotz pers. comm.); east to the Carolinas.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, MEexotic, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RIexotic, SC, TN, TX, VA, VTnative and exotic, WI, WV
Canada NBexotic, NSexotic, ON, QC

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
FL Jackson (12063)
MA Berkshire (25003), Franklin (25011), Middlesex (25017)*, Worcester (25027)
NE Douglas (31055)*, Nemaha (31127), Otoe (31131)*, Richardson (31147), Washington (31177)*
VT Addison (50001), Bennington (50003)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
01 Concord (01070005)+*, Blackstone (01090003)+, Housatonic (01100005)+
02 Hudson-Hoosic (02020003)+, Middle Hudson (02020006)+
03 Chipola (03130012)+
04 Otter Creek (04150402)+
10 Big Papillion-Mosquito (10230006)+*, Keg-Weeping Water (10240001)+*, Nishnabotna (10240004)+*, Tarkio-Wolf (10240005)+, Little Nemaha (10240006)+*, Big Nemaha (10240008)+*
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
Help
Basic Description: A low, herbaceous perennial with paired leaves; flowers nodding, held below the plane of the leaves; leaves somewhat pubescent, especially early in the growing season; plants typically less than 40 cm tall. Flowers are white to greenish.
Ecology Comments: It is possible that North Carolina populations seldom set fruit, and that reproduction from seed may be rare (Schafale pers. comm.). Only rarely have fruit been observed in North Carolina, in contrast with abundant ripe fruit observed in southern Illinois (Schafale pers. comm.).
Habitat Comments: This species is found in rich cove forests and mesic hardwood forests, typically those with soils that are not too acidic (Schafale pers. comm.); on circumneutral soils, this species can occur in dry-mesic oak-hickory forests (Schafale pers. comm.). This species is most typically found at low topographic positions (Pittillo pers. comm., Schafale pers. comm.), but it can also be found along ridgetops, especially on amphibolite substrate (Schafale pers. comm.). In northern portions of its range it is associated with maple woodlands and forests, occasionally along floodplains (Labrecque pers. comm.). It is also found in disturbed areas and along roadways (Enser pers. comm.), and persists in old gardens (Labrecque pers. comm.).
Economic Attributes
Help
Economically Important Genus: Y
Commercial Importance: Minor cash crop
Economic Uses: MEDICINE/DRUG
Production Method: Wild-harvested
Economic Comments: The Podophyllum used pharmaceutically is the Indian mayapple (McGuffin pers. comm.).

Prices for this species were found as follows:

Central Tennessee, nursery: $0.40/bare root whole plant (wild-collected and sold in bundles of 50)

Management Summary Not yet assessed
Help
Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
Help
Population/Occurrence Viability
Help
Date: 03Jan2000
Author: Boetsch, J.R. (English) and Jean Gagnon (French)
Notes: Department of Biology, University of North Carolina
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
Help
Authors/Contributors
Help
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 03Jan2000
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: John R. Boetsch (1/00); rev. Eric Nielsen (1/00)

Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • APSU Center for Field Biology and University of Tennessee Herbarium. 1999. October 6-last update. Atlas of Tennessee Vascular Plants. Online. Available: http://www.bio.utk.edu/botany/herbarium/vascular/atlas.html. Accessed 2000-Jan.

  • Bouchard, A., D. Barabé, M. Dumais et S. Hay 1983. Les plantes vasculaires rares du Québec. Syllogeus no 48. Musées nationaux du Canada. Ottawa. 75 p.

  • Brumback, W.E., and L.J. Mehrhoff. 1996. Flora Conservanda: New England. The New England Plant Conservation Program list of plants in need of conservation. Rhodora 98 (895): 235-361.

  • Davis, J.M., and R.E. Bir. 1998. Medicinal plants with a potential niche market for propagators. Online. Available at: http://fletcher.ces.state.nc.us/staff/jmdavis/medicinal.html . Accessed 2000-Jan.

  • Deam, C. C. 1940. Flora of Indiana. Division of Forestry, Dept. of Conservation, Indianapolis, Indiana. 1236 pp.

  • Fleurbec / G. Lamoureux, S. Lamoureux, A. Tousignant, L. Cournoyer et R.F. Gauthier / 1994. Plantes susceptibles d'être désignées menacées ou vulnérables. Noms français de 229 espèces. Rapport non publié, préparé pour le gouvernement du Québec, ministère

  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 1997. Flora of North America north of Mexico. Vol. 3. Magnoliophyta: Magnoliidae and Hamamelidae. Oxford Univ. Press, New York. xxiii + 590 pp.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1996. Species distribution data at state and province level for vascular plant taxa of the United States, Canada, and Greenland (accepted records), from unpublished data files at the North Carolina Botanical Garden, December, 1996.

  • Marie-Victorin, Fr. 1964. Flore laurentienne. 2e édition revue par E. Rouleau. Les Presses de l'Université de Montréal, Montréal. 925 p.

  • Rousseau, C. 1974. Géographie floristique du Québec-Labrador : Distribution des principales espèces vasculaires. Presses de l'Université Laval, Québec. 798 p.

  • Swink, F., and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region. Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.

  • Thaler, G.R. 1970. A study of the tension zone between the boreal and carolinian floras in Ontario. Ph. D. thesis, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario. 100 pp.

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service. 1999. November 3-last update. The PLANTS database. Online. Available: http://plants.usda.gov/plants. Accessed 2000-Jan.

Use Guidelines & Citation

Use Guidelines and Citation

The Small Print: Trademark, Copyright, Citation Guidelines, Restrictions on Use, and Information Disclaimer.

Note: All species and ecological community data presented in NatureServe Explorer at http://explorer.natureserve.org were updated to be current with NatureServe's central databases as of March 2019.
Note: This report was printed on

Trademark Notice: "NatureServe", NatureServe Explorer, The NatureServe logo, and all other names of NatureServe programs referenced herein are trademarks of NatureServe. Any other product or company names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

Copyright Notice: Copyright © 2019 NatureServe, 2511 Richmond (Jefferson Davis) Highway, Suite 930, Arlington, VA 22202, U.S.A. All Rights Reserved. Each document delivered from this server or web site may contain other proprietary notices and copyright information relating to that document. The following citation should be used in any published materials which reference the web site.

Citation for data on website including State Distribution, Watershed, and Reptile Range maps:
NatureServe. 2019. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available http://explorer.natureserve.org. (Accessed:

Citation for Bird Range Maps of North America:
Ridgely, R.S., T.F. Allnutt, T. Brooks, D.K. McNicol, D.W. Mehlman, B.E. Young, and J.R. Zook. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Birds of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Bird Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE."

Citation for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
Patterson, B.D., G. Ceballos, W. Sechrest, M.F. Tognelli, T. Brooks, L. Luna, P. Ortega, I. Salazar, and B.E. Young. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Mammals of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Bruce Patterson, Wes Sechrest, Marcelo Tognelli, Gerardo Ceballos, The Nature Conservancy-Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International-CABS, World Wildlife Fund-US, and Environment Canada-WILDSPACE."

Citation for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe. 2004. Global Amphibian Assessment. IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe, Washington, DC and Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
"Data developed as part of the Global Amphibian Assessment and provided by IUCN-World Conservation Union, Conservation International and NatureServe."

NOTE: Full metadata for the Bird Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/birdDistributionmapsmetadatav1.pdf.

Full metadata for the Mammal Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/mammalsDistributionmetadatav1.pdf.

Restrictions on Use: Permission to use, copy and distribute documents delivered from this server is hereby granted under the following conditions:
  1. The above copyright notice must appear in all copies;
  2. Any use of the documents available from this server must be for informational purposes only and in no instance for commercial purposes;
  3. Some data may be downloaded to files and altered in format for analytical purposes, however the data should still be referenced using the citation above;
  4. No graphics available from this server can be used, copied or distributed separate from the accompanying text. Any rights not expressly granted herein are reserved by NatureServe. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring by implication, estoppel, or otherwise any license or right under any trademark of NatureServe. No trademark owned by NatureServe may be used in advertising or promotion pertaining to the distribution of documents delivered from this server without specific advance permission from NatureServe. Except as expressly provided above, nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring any license or right under any NatureServe copyright.
Information Warranty Disclaimer: All documents and related graphics provided by this server and any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server are provided "as is" without warranty as to the currentness, completeness, or accuracy of any specific data. NatureServe hereby disclaims all warranties and conditions with regard to any documents provided by this server or any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server, including but not limited to all implied warranties and conditions of merchantibility, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement. NatureServe makes no representations about the suitability of the information delivered from this server or any other documents that are referenced to or linked to this server. In no event shall NatureServe be liable for any special, indirect, incidental, consequential damages, or for damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information contained in any documents provided by this server or in any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server, under any theory of liability used. NatureServe may update or make changes to the documents provided by this server at any time without notice; however, NatureServe makes no commitment to update the information contained herein. Since the data in the central databases are continually being updated, it is advisable to refresh data retrieved at least once a year after its receipt. The data provided is for planning, assessment, and informational purposes. Site specific projects or activities should be reviewed for potential environmental impacts with appropriate regulatory agencies. If ground-disturbing activities are proposed on a site, the appropriate state natural heritage program(s) or conservation data center can be contacted for a site-specific review of the project area (see Visit Local Programs).

Feedback Request: NatureServe encourages users to let us know of any errors or significant omissions that you find in the data through (see Contact Us). Your comments will be very valuable in improving the overall quality of our databases for the benefit of all users.