Scientific Name: Podophyllum peltatum L.
Family: Berberidaceae (Barberry Family)
Common name: May-apple
Description: Perennial herb 12-18 inches tall; solitary, nodding flower from the base of a pair of large, deeply-lobed deciduous leaves; flowers March-April.
Range and Habitat: Common throughout South Carolina in rich forests, bottomlands, meadows, pastures, and along moist road banks.
In Porcher’s time… May-apple was used as a laxative in place of rhubarb or jalap, or wherever a purgative is required. The leaves are purgative, and sometimes produce nausea in irritable stomachs; the fruit is edible.