Mandrake root (Mancragora officinarum)

Mandrake root (Mancragora officinarum)

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Credit: NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM, LONDON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Mandrake (Mancragora officinarum) root. The mandrake is a native European perennial, once widely used for its medicinal and narcotic properties. The main taproot was thought to look like a human figure, with divisions in the root resembling limbs. According to folklore the plant emitted a piercing shriek when uprooted, killing anyone who heard it. Illustration from a copy of 'De Materia Medica' by the Greek physician Dioscorides made in 1460 and owned by Sir Joseph Banks.

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Keywords: 1460, artwork, biological, biology, botanical, botany, de materia medica, dioscorides, drawing, flora, folklore, greek, human, illustration, mancragora officinarum, mandrake, medical, medicinal, medicine, mythology, narcotic, nature, people, perennial, person, root, sir joseph banks, taproot

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