Indian Cucumber Root
Medeola virginiana /Lily Family
April 24, 2005
This is one of the most unusual plants in the woods. The leaves are positioned in 2 whorls, a larger, lower one has 6 leaves and a smaller one at the top has 3 leaves. The flowers often hang below the top whorl. The flower has 3 very long reddish-brown pistils and 6 stamens. The plant gets its name from the edible, cucumber-flavored root that was eaten by Native Americans. In the fall the plant will have dark blue berries and the top whorl of leaves turns a brilliant red. I found these blooming at Piney River State Natural Area in Rhea County.
Where seen:Big South Fork NRRA, Piney River Trail, Frozen Head SP, Ijams Nature Center