Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Most of the people I know are aware of the fact that I've been a fanatic about hunting and fishing my whole life. Actually, I've been tramping through the woods since I was nine years old. Hawaii, Indiana, California, Ohio, Florida were all states in which I hunted or camped out. Then came over 40 years in Louisiana. During a period of 20 years in Louisiana if there were 55 days of duck hunting and I didn't make 50 it was a bad year. I went every day. In all this time I was just like a kid - curious about everything and noticing things that most people never saw.

Last spring I went a ways down the mountain on our 2.6 acres in the back of our home and ran across what I considered an amazing plant. I have never run across a plant such as the one here in the Western North Carolina Mountains. I went back to the house and got my camera and took a fairly good image of the plant. I spent a considerable amount of time trying to get an identification from some biology and botany "experts in North Carolina but did not have any luck getting an ID on the plant.

I have posted this image above this article. You can click on the picture to see a larger image. Let me draw your attention to the fact that this plant has a stem growing out of the center of the large leaves and on the top of that stem which is over six inches long is another set of smaller leaves. I've never seen anything like it. There are at least two plants in the photograph.

If you can identify it or know someone who can do so, please let me know.

As usual if you have any comments they are welcome.


M.A. Vincent said...

Looks like Medeola virginiana (Liliaceae) to me.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Indian Cucumber (Medeola virginiana L.).
-P. Sweeney, YU Herbarium

Anonymous said...

Medeola virginiana, Indian Cucumber Root. Just do a Google Image Search on the name, you will see plenty.

Anonymous said...

The plant pictured is Medeola virginiana, Indian Cucumber Root. Very common in deciduous woods in the NE US.

Charles Horn said...

This looks like Indian Cucumber, Medeola virginiana. As you note, it has a "set" (whorl) of leaves along the stem at two places. The name comes from the idea that the underground tuber tastes like cucumber.

Anonymous said...

The plant looks like Medeola virginica.

Dave Keil

Dick Jensen said...

Looks like Medeola virginiana to me.


Dick Jensen
Saint Mary's College
Notre dame, IN 46556

Anonymous said...

I believe that this plant may be Medeola virginiana, "Indian Cucumber"

Tim Dickinson said...

this looks like Medeola virginiana; pretty common in the woods north of toronto, but i imagine not so much so in the southern appalachians. ---tad.

Anonymous said...

What a lovely plant. I will look for it next time I get out!