Friday, June 05, 2009

REQUEST FOR INFORMATION: Deer Browsing on Mayapple

Last weekend a student of mine was out in south central Ohio, where she observed a significant amount of deer browsing on mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum). There is no question it was deer (and not a mower or slugs or groundhogs).

This is something I have not observed directly. Mayapple contains podophyllotoxin, which is lethal to people in relatively small doses. LD50s for mice and rabbits are 100 mg/kg and 200 mg/kg, respectively.

Any observations (both observations of browsing and observations of never having seen the plant browsed) would be appreciated. Please include your location (western North Carolina, southeastern Maine, etc.).

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