Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Indian Cucumber, Indian Cucumber Root
Medeola virginiana

Family: Liliaceae (lil-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Medeola (med-EE-oh-luh) (Info)
Species: virginiana (vir-jin-ee-AN-uh) (Info)

One vendor has this plant for sale.

6 members have or want this plant for trade.


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Chartreuse (Yellow-Green)

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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2 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive CutNGlass On Feb 3, 2008, CutNGlass from Hendersonville, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:

Yet another interesting native plant which I watch for in my woods.

Positive gregr18 On Jun 2, 2006, gregr18 from Bridgewater, MA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I had success transplanting one wild plant into my garden in the late spring of 2005 and three came back in 2006. The plants came from private property, and transplanting from public lands is not recommended, and most likely illegal in most states. It was fussy while establishing itself in its new home, but bloomed and produced beautiful dark red berries. It likes acidic soil in a shady situation. A moisture-lover, though it will tolerate drought when established. An interesting and beautiful plant native to the East Coast of N. America.

Neutral raisedbedbob On May 2, 2004, raisedbedbob from Walkerton, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

Edible plant. The rhizome has the consistency of a radish, but tastes like a cucumber. I doubt if the energy needed to dig one is replaced by eating one.

Neutral mystic On Mar 2, 2002, mystic from Ewing, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:

A herbaceous,perennial plant that gets up to 30-inches tall.The leaves are whorled and 5-inches in length with 5-9 leaves halfway up the stem and 3-5 on the top.The steams are hairy when young.The flowers are yellow-green stalked clusters that hang below the upper leaves.They bloom in May or June.Followed by dark purple berries.The Native Americans ate the rhizome of this plant,it has a light cucumber like flavor.Digging the rhizome will kill the plant but pieces left will form new plants.Usually found in woods and swamps.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Valley Lee, Maryland
Bridgewater, Massachusetts
Brockton, Massachusetts
Saint Helen, Michigan
West Branch, Michigan
Canterbury, New Hampshire
Hendersonville, North Carolina
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Blacksburg, Virginia
Greenville, Virginia
Leesburg, Virginia

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