Podophyllum ‘Spotty Dotty’

A woodland plant from both China and North America Podophyllum are a plant that adds texture to the garden with its tough leathery foliage.

The species we see a lot of is Podophyllum peltatum, however it is the Asian species that are sought after for the leaf makings.

The popular cultivar ’Spotty Dotty’ is an Asian species, Podophyllum delavayi is known as the Chinese Mayapple.

The sought after species and hybrids are those from China, with some remarkable coloring as well a attractive flowers in spring. Podophyllum veripellis and Podophyllum hexandrum are two others with remarkable foliage.

The species from China are not as hardy as the American mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum), however they do grow well in containers and are worth growing for that wonderful textured foliage.

Hardiness is a little debatable, USDA Zones 6 – 10, however as many of the plants offered are hybrids, this can vary a little.


Best in a position of dappled shade and a slightly acidic soil. Podophyllum do like a humus rich fertile soil and will require supplement watering in dry summer periods.
The Asian species are slow growing and although they will die back in colder zones, in warmer areas they may be evergreen.

Old spent foliage can be cut back in spring as the new shoots appear.


Use leaf mood, compost and organic fertilizers, seaweed fertilizer, fish emulsion, vermicaste and compost tea are all excellent.
Small amounts of general purpose slow release fertilizer will also work, however over application can cause problems including leaf burn.


  • Podophyllum ’Spotty Dotty’ is a choice cultivar with spotted foliage. Flowers are a crimson red, although often not noticed as they hide under the large foliage. Flowers are followed by green rounded fruit.
  • Podophyllum ’Kaleidoscope’ is similar in growth habit however with more distinct leaf patterns. Large foliage that take a distinct hexagonal pattern.


You can grow Podophyllum from seed, give it a winter stratification in the refrigerator and then surface sow. Commercially the cultivars are often propagated by tissue culture.

You can grow Podophyllum also grow by division, larger clumps can be divided in late winter to spring.

  • Dig the clump with a garden fork.
  • Divide with a sharp garden knife or spade
  • Replant and water in with a liquid seaweed fertilizer, this help reestablish root systems.

Species and Summary

Podophyllum are a woodland plant with stems to 40cm. Relatively rare in cultivation, more species from Asia are still being identified.

With only six species, five are from Asia and especially China

  • Podophyllum aurantiocaule
  • Podophyllum delavayi
  • Podophyllum hexandrum
  • Podophyllum pleianthum
  • Podophyllum versipelle
  • And one from the USA which is Podophyllum peltatum

Where to Buy

You can find Podophyllum for sale at the following nurseries.

PO Box 471 Albion CA 95410
phone (707) 937-1130
A spectacular selection of hard to find perennials, ornamental grasses, shrubs, trees and vines for your garden.