This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Erect perennial herbs, with horizontal poisonous rootstocks, large peltate palmately lobed leaves, and solitary white flowers. Sepals 6, petaloid, fugacious, the bud with 3 fugacious bractlets. Petals 6-9, flat, obovate, longer than the sepals. Stamens as many or twice as many as the petals; anthers linear, longitudinally dehiscent. Pistil 1 (rarely several); ovary ovoid, many-ovuled, forming a large fleshy berry in fruit. Seeds numerous, obovate, enclosed in fleshy arils. [Greek, Anapodophyllum, duck-foot-leaf.]
A genus of about 4 species, the following typical one native of eastern North America and Japan, the others Asiatic.
Podophyllum peltatum L. Sp. Pl 505. 1753.
Erect, 1°-1 1/2° high. Basal leaves centrally peltate, nearly 1° in diameter, long-petioled, deeply 5-9-lobed, glabrous, or pubescent and light green on the lower surface, darker above; lobes 2-cleft and dentate at the apex; flowering stems appearing from different rootstocks, bearing 1-3 similar leaves, or occasionally leafless; flower white, stout-peduncled, nodding, 2 broad, appearing from the base of the upper leaf and generally from immediately between the two leaves; stamens twice as many as the petals; fruit ovoid, yellowish, 2' long, edible.
In low woods, western Quebec and throughout southern Ontario to Minnesota, Kansas, Florida, Louisiana and Texas. Ascends to 2500 ft. in Virginia. Indian- or hog-apple. Devil's-apples. Wild-or ground-lemon. Puck's-foot. Raccoon-berry. May.