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Medeola virginiana - (L.)Merrill.                
                 
Common Name Indian Cucumber Root
Family Trilliaceae
Synonyms
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Rich woods[43], margins of swamps and bogs[62].
Range Eastern N. America - Nova Scotia to Ontario, Minnesota, Florida and Tennessee.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade

Summary       

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of flower
Medeola virginiana is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.3 m (1ft).
It is hardy to zone 3. It is in flower from May to June, and the seeds ripen in September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)

USDA hardiness zone : Coming soon


Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.

Medeola virginiana Indian Cucumber Root


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Jomegat
Medeola virginiana Indian Cucumber Root
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Jomegat
   
Habitats       
Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Root.
Edible Uses:

Root - raw or cooked[55, 62]. Crisp and tender with the aroma and taste of cucumbers[1, 2, 102, 183]. A sweet flavour[159]. The root is up to 8cm long[200].
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antispasmodic;  Diuretic;  Hydrogogue.

The root is diuretic and hydrogogue[4]. It is used in the treatment of dropsy[4]. An infusion of the crushed dried berries and leaves has been used to treat babies with convulsions[257].
Other Uses
None known
Cultivation details                                         
Prefers light shade and plenty of leaf mould in a slightly acid soil[200]. Prefers a rich sandy soil[1]. The rootstock has a pleasant refreshing smell of cucumber[245].
                                                                                 
Propagation                                         
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame in a well-drained soil-less medium[200]. Fully remove the fleshy seed covering because this contains germination inhibitors. The seed should germinate in the spring[K]. Spring sown seed can be slow to germinate and may take 12 months or more[K]. The seed should be sown thinly so that the seedlings can be grown on undisturbed in the pot for their first year. If necessary apply a liquid feed at intervals through the growing season to ensure that the plants grow on well. Prick the roots out into individual pots in the autumn and grow them on in a shady part of the greenhouse for at least the next growing season, planting them out into their permanent positions when they are dormant. Division in spring as the plant comes into growth[1].
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
(L.)Merrill.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
43200235
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         

  [K] Ken Fern Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.

[1]F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
[2]Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World.
Lots of entries, quite a lot of information in most entries and references.
[4]Grieve. A Modern Herbal.
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
[43]Fernald. M. L. Gray's Manual of Botany.
A bit dated but good and concise flora of the eastern part of N. America.
[55]Harris. B. C. Eat the Weeds.
Interesting reading.
[62]Elias. T. and Dykeman. P. A Field Guide to N. American Edible Wild Plants.
Very readable.
[102]Kavasch. B. Native Harvests.
Another guide to the wild foods of America.
[159]McPherson. A. and S. Wild Food Plants of Indiana.
A nice pocket guide to this region of America.
[183]Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[245]Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World.
An excellent, comprehensive book on scented plants giving a few other plant uses and brief cultivation details. There are no illustrations.
[257]Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.

Readers comment                                         
 
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Subject : Medeola virginiana  
             

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