CCI ARCHIVES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CCI ARCHIVES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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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