Herb: Indian Cucumber Root

Latin name: Medeola virginiana

Family: Trilliaceae

Medicinal use of Indian Cucumber Root:

The root is diuretic and hydrogogue. It is used in the treatment of dropsy. An infusion of the crushed dried berries and leaves has been used to treat babies with convulsions.

Description of the plant:


25 cm
(9 3/4 inch)

May to


Habitat of the herb:

Rich woods, margins of swamps and bogs.

Edible parts of Indian Cucumber Root:

Root - raw or cooked. Crisp and tender with the aroma and taste of cucumbers. A sweet flavour. The root is up to 8cm long.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame in a well-drained soil-less medium. Fully remove the fleshy seed covering because this contains germination inhibitors. The seed should germinate in the spring. Spring sown seed can be slow to germinate and may take 12 months or more. 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.

Cultivation of Indian Cucumber Root:

Rich woods, margins of swamps and bogs.

Known hazards of Medeola virginiana:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.