The Umbrella leaf plant is a herbaceous plant that is a perennial. This plant can reach up to thirty six inches in height. It is also sometimes called the American Umbrella leaf and its scientific classification is Diphylleia cymosa. Some other common names for this plant are Indian Apple Root, Wild Lemon, American Mandrake, Racoonberry, Ducks's foot and Hog apple. The leaves of the Umbrella leaf can grow up to sixteen inches in width. Two, five to seven lobed and toothed leaves are usually present on the plant. There are six regular parts that make up the blooms and they are around one half inch wide. These blooms are white and they first appear in mid spring and will bloom into the late summer. The blooms are best in May and June. The white flowers are one inch in width and they are followed by blue berries that are a little more than one quarter of an inch in diameter.
It usually grows near a water source and in rich damp woody areas. The mountainous areas of the southeastern United States are home to the Umbrella leaf plant. The southern Appalachians are where this plant is found.
The Umbrella leaf's growth is quite spotty even in it's southern mountain range. The Cherokees used the plant to make a root tea that induced sweating
This plant is rare. It closely resembles the common Mayapple. They are only superficially alike since there is no real medical reason to use the Umbrella leaf plant. It should be noted however, that this plant is toxic and can harm animals such as cats, dogs or horses if they eat it. Signs that this has happened include vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea, dermal redness, skin rashes and in some rare cases the animal will slip into a coma
The Umbrella leaf shares its genus with only one other species. That is species (D.Sinensis). This plant grows in Japan and in the eastern parts of Asia.
The Umbrella leaf is another plant that could be in danger of extinction due to invading development by humans.
The French botanist and explorer Andreas Nichaus first discovered the Umbrella leaf plant. It was in the year 1786. He described the plant and sketched two illustration of this plant in 1803.
Slugs and snails are drawn to this beautiful plant. If using in a garden, treatment for these pests is necessary.