Podophyllum versipelle subsp. boreale ex CPC# (syn. mairiei)

Chinese mayapple, Mayapple


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We remain a bit confused on this one and maybe we can blame it on overwork but mostly there is still no universal consensus on taxonomy in the genus. We originally offered this as P. versipelle subsp. boreale and then Aaron Floden told us that Julian Shaw's recent work had reclassified this into P. mairiei, so we dutifully changed the name. Eventually Darrell Probst saw this and wondered what we were doing, as he collected the original seed from the type locality for versipelle subsp. boreale. These botanical dust-ups, while fun to observe, can be frustrating in getting a broadly accepted name so we're going back with our buddy Darrell on the name.

These are from a superb collection by Darrell Probst from China, which is notable for having over 20 small maroon-mahogany flowers clustered just under the leaf blade. If you have a choice, more flowers makes it easy! This is a striking addition to the shade garden and a moist rich soil will make this very happy, which has a direct positive influence on you. We're pretty sure you won't find this too many other places. We always liked it but now we like it even more!


Plant Type

  • Perennial / Bulb

Mature Size


Hardiness Zones

  • Zone 5a (-20 °F)
  • Zone 5b (-15 °F)
  • Zone 6a (-10 °F)
  • Zone 6b (-5 °F)
  • Zone 7a (0 °F)
  • Zone 7b (5 °F)
  • Zone 8a (10 °F)
  • Zone 8b (15 °F)
  • Zone 9a (20 °F)
  • Zone 9b (25 °F)

Sun Exposure

  • Shade

Water Needs

  • Moist

Bloom Time

  • Spring