Indian cucumber-root (Medeola virginiana)
Easy to miss, the whorled leaves at the base of this plant resemble the mayapples that grow nearby. With a green 'flower' it's easy to miss all around. But if you spot the unique flower hidden under the top three leaves, you won't soon forget it!
Some plants will have multiple flowers growing from the central whorl of three leaves on top of the wooly unbranched stem.
The root is white, brittle, and tastes and smells somewhat like a cucumber. It was once used by Native Americans for food, but due to its scarcity it is not recommended to dig this plant.
After the flowers bloom it fruits bluish-purple berries, which birds are attracted to; the cluster of leaves below turn red at the lower half.
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Emily is an Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist who spends her time exploring and learning about the unique history and nature in North East Ohio. She lives with her husband and cat in Wooster where she is also a family portrait and nature photographer as well as grows and cans her own vegetables. When she's not doing that, yoga and embroidery (not at the same time) are other things she enjoys.