A slender, erect, unbranched herb from a perennial rootstock 1 to 3 inches long; stem 1 to 2 feet high, loosely covered with deciduous wool, bearing the lower whorl of leaves above the middle or, in flowerless plants, at the summit; leaves of the lower whorl sessile, 2 to 5 inches long, 1 to 2 inches wide; acuminate at the apex, narrowed at the base, three to five-nerved; leaves of the upper whorl 1 to 2 inches long, one-half to 1 inch wide, short petioled or sessile, often turning reddish at the base; umbel of two to nine flowers on filiform pedicels, 1 inch long or less, declined in flower, erect or ascending in fruit; perianth segments one-fourth to one-half of an inch long, obtuse, the six equal segments rea:rved, the three long styles r7ecurved. Fruit a dark blue or purplish berry one-fourth to one-half of an inch in diameter.

In moist woods and thickets, Nova Scotia to Ontario, Minnesota, Florida and Tennessee. Flowering in May and June. Fruit ripe in September.

The thick, tuberlike, white rootstock is brittle with numerous slender fibrous roots and has the odor and taste of cucumbers.

Memoir 15 N. Y. State Museum

Plate 22

Indian Cucumber Root

Indian Cucumber Root - Medeola virginiana