Site menu:

Liliaceae: Medeola virginiana L.
(Indian cucumber-root)

Indian cucumber-root is a member of the lily family. The thin stem is between 30 and 70 cm tall, somewhat tormentose when young, and bears two whorls of leaves, the lower ones between 5 and 11 in number, the upper leaves generally in threes. Leaf shape is oblanceolate and accuminate at both ends. Greenish-yellow flowers on pedicels hang below the top whorl of leaves and so can easily be missed. The three petals are separate and recurved and there are 6 reddish stamens. It flowers in June and July and the deep purple berries can be seen in rich woods throughout the fall. The 3-4 cm long tuber is pure white with the crisp texture of water chestnuts and a distinct flavour of cucumber. However one should only gather tubers when the plant is in abundance. This delightful perennial occurs in the eastern third of North America from Ontario and Quebec, New Brunswick, PEI, and Nova Scotia south to Louisiana and Florida. It is not found in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Sources | Selected Web Resources | Line Drawing

Jul 14, 2009. Halifax County: Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail, Pot Lake loop. Photographer: JackPine.
Medeola virginiana Medeola virginiana

Sept 30, 2009. Annapolis County: Mersey River Chalet property. Photographer: Ocotillo.
Medeola virginiana

Selected Web Resources