outdoorsMay 29, 2024
Discover the hidden dangers of the beautiful Mayapple, a native woodland wildflower with a poisonous twist, and learn about the delicate blue-eyed grass, a tiny but fascinating bloom in Southeast Missouri.
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Courtesy of Aaron Horrell
Aaron Horrell
Aaron Horrell

The big green apple in this photo is the fruit of a plant commonly known as the Mayapple.

The Mayapple plant is a native woodland wildflower that grows in colonies from a single root system. Lying dormant underground during winter, it pushes a stem up through the forest floor in the spring.

It blooms in April and produces a green apple in May that typically ripens in June. All parts of the Mayapple are poisonous.

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The blue flower in my photo is called blue-eyed grass. Although it looks like grass with its long, thin leaves, it is not really a grass. It is actually related to irises.

This wildflower is native to the eastern third of the United States. The tiny flower of the blue-eyed grass is easy to overlook in the vast Southeast Missouri landscape. The two small, green balls hanging beneath the blue flower are the plant’s seed pods.

AARON HORRELL is owner of Painted Wren Art Gallery in Cape Girardeau. He is a Bollinger County native.

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