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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)



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

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

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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:

Unknown - Tell us

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


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

Birmingham, Alabama

Severn, Maryland

Valley Lee, Maryland

Bridgewater, Massachusetts

Brockton, Massachusetts

Saint Helen, Michigan

West Branch, Michigan

Canterbury, New Hampshire

Hendersonville, North Carolina

Rome, Ohio

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Blacksburg, Virginia

Greenville, Virginia

Leesburg, Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Nov 24, 2015, madelf from Rome, OH wrote:

Thrives in the moist woods on my property in full shade. Tastes like a very fresh crunchy mild cucumber. When its seeds are ripe simply put them in the ground and they will sprout the next year but not flower till they have 2 tiers. The flowers are small and greenish yellow and rather remind me of a spider, not pretty but its the next generation of plants. The plant itself is charming growing out of the partridge berry.


On Oct 16, 2015, sallyg from Anne Arundel,, MD (Zone 7b) wrote:

Delighted to find this plant today in nearby woods, where non native invasives are the norm. The berries and whorled leaves caught my eye this autumn day. It is in shade of pines and oaks, in a sandy acidic soil and with marshes and ponds in the area.


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

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


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.


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.


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.