Mandrake plant

Mandrake plant

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Credit: CCI ARCHIVES/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Mandrake plant. Historical artwork of the leaves (green) and root (orange) of a mandrake plant (Mandragora officinarum). A dog and chain is being used to pull the plant from the ground. The plant is depicted in human form because the branching of the root resembles a human figure. It is native to Europe. The root was used in herbal medicine, but according to folklore the plant emitted a piercing shriek when uprooted, killing anyone who heard it. For this reason, dogs and chains were used to harvest the plant. This is a 15th century French artwork from the Arsenal Library, Paris, France.

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Keywords: 1400s, 15th century, artwork, biological, biology, botanical, botany, chain, deadly, death, dog, drug, fatal, flower, herb, herbal medicine, historical, history, human, humanoid, illustration, mandragora officinarum, mandrake, medical, medicine, nature, person, plant, root, shriek, superstition

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