06.20.2021 Summer Sunday-Indian Cucumber Root

As the name implies, the root, really a tuber, is edible and tastes like a cucumber…although I personally have not yanked one out of the ground to munch upon it.  I am relying on the report in good faith. The plant grows to between 12-36 inches and flowers in late spring and early summer. The fruits are berries which are dark red to purple and I have seen nothing to indicate they are edible. The plant is considered as becoming rare so pulling the roots is not encouraged.  Whether they are edible or not, the berries produce new plants so leaving them for the future is a good idea.

Indian Cucumber Root-Medeola virginiana is a member of the Lily family and the only species in it genus.

I’ve never photographed the berries but will try to remember to do so later in the summer. The plant is taller than shown here but I concentrated on the flower.

About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in Closeup Photography, Flora, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts, Wildflowers and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to 06.20.2021 Summer Sunday-Indian Cucumber Root

  1. Very unusual … great portrait!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve learned that there’s a technical term for a genus with only one species in it: monotypic.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Peter Klopp says:

    A great discovery, Steve! I wonder if this plant grows here in BC. I am also curious about any health benefits of eating the tubers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I didn’t read of any health benefits so am not sure. Did you find out if you have them locally? This wasn’t my first time photographing it but it was my first time successfully doing so. Thanks, Peter!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ann Mackay says:

    Beautifully photographed! It looks very delicate and pretty.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is, Ann. And very sensitive to air movement, much like a columbine. Tested my patience. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ann Mackay says:

        Ah, I know what fluttery flowers are like! Strange how they seem to sit perfectly still until you’re about to photograph them!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve found that until I look through the viewfinder or on the LCD I am unaware of the slight movement of a gentle breeze. KInd of like while driving in the car. Our motion makes the motion of other things less noticeable. But oft times things do sit still until just as we press the shutter release. 😦

        Liked by 1 person

  5. What a very interesting and exotic-looking plant! I don’t think I’ve ever been as impressed by a cucumber.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What an intriguing plant! Thank you for getting that flower so close and clear, and sharing it with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. bluebrightly says:

    That’s a gorgeous portrait of a fascinating plant, Steve, kudos to you.

    Liked by 1 person

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