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Streptopus amplexifolius - (L.)DC.

Common Name Wild Cucumber, Claspleaf twistedstalk, Tubercle twistedstalk
Family Convallariaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Wet sub-alpine woods[50, 187]. Moist woods and thickets[43, 50]. Rich moist coniferous and deciduous woods at elevations of 0 - 2800 metres in America[270].
Range Europe to E. Asia and N. America - Alaska to North Carolina, Ohio, Michigan and New Mexico.
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (1 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full shade Semi-shade
Streptopus amplexifolius Wild Cucumber, Claspleaf twistedstalk, Tubercle twistedstalk

Streptopus amplexifolius Wild Cucumber, Claspleaf twistedstalk, Tubercle twistedstalk


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Streptopus amplexifolius is a PERENNIAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 0.3 m (1ft).
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 5. It is in flower from May to July, and the seeds ripen from September to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


S. distortus.

Plant Habitats

Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; not Deep Shade;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit  Leaves  Root  Shoots
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw or cooked in soups and stews[105, 161, 172]. Juicy with a cucumber flavour[183], they are reported to be slightly cathartic when growing in certain areas only[183]. The fruit is laxative if eaten in large quantities according to another report[172]. The oval berry is up to 15mm long[235]. Tender young shoots - raw in salads or cooked like asparagus[177, 183, 257]. A cucumber-like flavour[172, 183]. Root - raw. It is sometimes used in salads for its cucumber flavour[105, 177, 183].

References   More on Edible Uses

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.
Analgesic  Appetizer  Cathartic  Haemostatic  Kidney  Oxytoxic  Stomachic  VD

The fruit is cathartic[172, 207]. An infusion of the stems and fruit has been used to treat 'sickness in general'[257]. The plant is tonic[257]. An infusion of the whole plant has been used to treat stomach complaints and loss of appetite[257]. A compound infusion of the plant has been used in the treatment of spitting up of blood, kidney problems and gonorrhoea[257]. The root has been chewed in order to induce labour in cases of protracted delay[257]. A compound infusion of the root has been used as an analgesic in the treatment of internal pain[257].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses


The plant has been tied to the clothes, body or hair and used as a scent[257].

Special Uses

Food Forest

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Requires a cool leafy soil in shade or partial shade[187]. Thrives in a moist light soil containing organic matter[1]. Hardy to at least -20°c. A polymorphic species, there are many sub-species[43]. For polyculture design as well as the above-ground architecture (form - tree, shrub etc. and size shown above) information on the habit and root pattern is also useful and given here if available. The plant growth habit is a clumper with limited spread [1-2]. The root pattern is fibrous dividing into a large number of fine roots [1-2]. The root pattern is rhizomatous with underground stems sending roots and shoots along their length [1-2].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees,Edible Shrubs, Woodland Gardening, and Temperate Food Forest Plants. Our new book is Food Forest Plants For Hotter Conditions (Tropical and Sub-Tropical).

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Plant Propagation

Seed - best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in the summer[200]. Sow stored seed in a cold frame as soon as it is received. The seed, especially if it has been stored, can be very slow to germinate, sometimes taking 18 months or more. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots once they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a shady part of the greenhouse or cold frame. It will normally take 2 or more growing seasons before the roots are large enough to plant out - this is best done when the plant is dormant in the autumn. Division as the plant comes into growth in early spring. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame for their first year, planting them out in the following spring.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

twistedstalk, clasping twistedstalk,claspleaf twistedstalk, white twisted-stalk, or watermelon berry.

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Streptopus roseusScootberry, RosybellsPerennial0.5 3-7  LMFSM420
Streptopus streptopoidesSmall twistedstalkPerennial0.3 3-7  LMFSM30 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References


Links / References

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Readers comment

kevin w chubb   Fri Jun 1 2007

Streptopus amplexifolius - does anyone know of a supplier of wild cucumber in uk or does anyone grow it many thanks kevin w chubb inroads 43 lower cathedral rd riverside cardiff cf11 6lw 029 20 40 7 40 7

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