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Vick, Albert F. W.
Medeola virginiana L.
Indian cucumber, Indian Cucumber-root
USDA Symbol: MEVI
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
Several nodding, yellowish-green flowers emerge from the center of a whorl of 3 leaves at the top of a slender, woolly, unbranched stem, on stalks that sometimes bend down below the leaves.
The root, 2-3 (5-7.5 cm) long and 1/2-1 (1.3-2.5 cm) wide is white, has a brittle texture, and tastes and smells somewhat like a cucumber. It was used by Indians for food, but digging it for such purposes today is not recommended because the plant is scarce. Birds are attracted to the fruit. At the time the berries turn bluish-purple, the cluster of leaves below them turns red at the lower half.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Leaf Complexity: Simple Fruit Type: Berry Autumn Foliage:
Purple, Blue Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow , Green , Brown
Bloom Time: May , Jun
, WV Canada: NB
, QC Native Distribution:
Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia; south to Florida; west to Alabama and Louisiana; north to Minnesota. Native Habitat:
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Loam, Sand
BenefitUse Food: The root tastes and smells somewhat like a cucumber. It was used by First Nations for food, but digging it for such purposes today is not recommended because the plant is scarce. (Niering)
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
|Status:|| FACU |
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
From the National Suppliers Directory
According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:
American Native Nursery
- Quakertown, PA
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Mt. Cuba Center
- Hockessin, DE
Record Last Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff