Woodcut depicting male root of Mandrake

Woodcut depicting male root of Mandrake

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Credit: DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Woodcut illustration depicting a male root of Mandrake (Mandragora officinarum). The root was thought to have human form as the main tap root commonly divides into two, somewhat like legs. Mandrake is a native European perennial, once widely regarded for its medicinal and narcotic properties. It was also supposed to emit a loud shriek when pulled out of the ground - the shriek was reputed to kill anyone who heard it. This illustration appeared in Meydenbach's Hortus Sanitatis of 1491.

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Keywords: artwork, botany, herb, legend, male, mandragora officinarum, mandrake, mandrake root, medicinal plant, mythology, narcotic, nature, plant, plants, root, type

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