Outdoor Hour Challenge – May Apple

Outdoor Hour Challenge May Apple Nature Study @handbookofnaturestudy

Outdoor Hour Challenge
May Apple (or Mandrake)

Inside Preparation Work:

  • Read pages 479-482 in the Handbook of Nature Study (Lesson #124). Please note that the HNS says that this plant is edible but I do not encourage anyone to eat any part of this plant.
  • Use these links to learn more about the May apple and its distribution in the United States: Mayapple or May Apple.
  • Here are videos of the Mayapple flower and the plant with fruit. (I do not recommend eating any plants found in the forest.)
  • Advanced Study: Here is a list of wildflowers in the berberidaceae family. For those of us on the West Coast, research other plants in the berberidaceae family.

Outdoor Hour Time:

  • Out to the woods you go to look for the umbrella-like leaves of the May apple! This is an excellent plant to watch throughout the spring and into the late summer to follow its progression from the spreading of its leaves, the flower, and then the development of the fruit.
  • There are many great ideas in the lesson for suggested observations. Make sure to note a few before you head out for your Outdoor Hour time. Make lots of observations in the field and then record your findings in your nature journal.
  • If you don’t have a May apple to study, find another blooming wildflower to observe up close this week. Remember there is a Spring Wildflower Study notebook page included in the ebook.

Follow-Up Activity:

  • Write as many interesting facts as you can about the May apple plant in your nature journal or on the notebook page in the ebook.
  • Learn more about leaf shapes and then draw the leaf of the May apple in your nature journal. Use this link: Leaf Types.
  • Advanced Study: Research the common names for the May apple plant and then the traditional uses of the parts of the May apple.

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