The flower of the mayapple will generally be about 2 1/4 inches across and grow out from a fork in the single stem.
The white petals will fall away after about two weeks and a single green "apple" fruit will remain, growing to a length of about 1 1/2 inches, maturing in summer.
The mayapple plant is sometimes referred to as the "umbrella plant" because of the umbrella-like appearance of the leaves.
The wild blue phlox is flashy with flowers growing in loose clusters on a spindly stalk with sparse opposing leaves. The blue phlox may grow to 2 feet tall. It will bloom from early April through June. It is often the bluest flower in the Southeast Missouri woods.
This flower is hardy, visited by butterflies and can be a nice addition to a moderately shaded spring flower garden.
Through the Woods is a weekly nature photo column by Aaron Horrell. Find this column at semissourian.com to order a reprint of the photo.