This season, my Mayapple plants have really taken off!
I got my original plant from my friend Pam years ago. I don't think I've ever seen them offered at a nursery. The plants have a tropical appearance and although I appreciate that, I actually like the plant for sentimental value...
A woodland plant, I first encountered it when I went to Girl Scout summer camp. It certainly wasn't a species I'd see in my Nanas' city gardens or our suburban garden. When I was a teen, I was a counselor at the same camp. Counselors earned a whopping $1 per day for our efforts.
Every part of the plant is poisonous except for a brief period of time when the fruit ripens and is yellow (it sometimes is referred to as Wild Lemon).
At Girl Scout camp, we never got to really see the flowers or the fruit. The flowers and fruit appear in spring and by the time we attended camp, both had faded. Last year I was delighted when my plants actually flowered:
In 1922, this pattern appeared in the newspaper and celebrated the best part of the plant--the unique umbrella like leaf structure:
I couldn't find an actual example of the pattern used in a quilt. To me, the pattern isn't just unique, it reminds me of the Art Deco period and also reminds me of a poinsettia quilt offered by Grandmother Clark in the 1930s (here).
The ad for the quilt pattern states:
"Have you ever walked out into the orchard when the trees were in blossom, and wished that you might carry their fragrance back into your own bedroom with you, and keep it forever? I believe that the person who designed the May apple quilt pattern must have felt this way about those fragrant spring blossom, and sought out a way to be reminded of them, even when the ground was carpeted with snow.
Any dainty color might be used when making up this quilt. Think how pretty a soft pink would be with a touch of green, and these on white background! Blue, yellow or lavender maybe substituted for the pink, if you prefer them. One could not wish for a prettier quilt."
Barbara Brackman did a whole post on Mayapple quilt patterns (here). Her article focused on the flower. For me, the magical quality of the plant is actually the umbrella like leaf structure.
A later article featured women in Missouri who adored working on a "May Apple" quilt but the pattern does not resemble the one I featured:
Do you like this pattern?
Tomorrow I am taking a day off to garden and take my mother to the doctor's. If you have anything to share for Flower Friday, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Have a safe and happy Wednesday and Thursday!