BRITISH LIBRARY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BRITISH LIBRARY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Saffron crocus (Crocus sativus). Century Italian illustration by Gherardo Cibo of a saffron crocus plant in flower, with two women gathering flowers on a mountaintop nearby. This plate is taken from "Discorsi" on Dioscorides' "De Materia Medica" by Pietro Andrea Mattioli, a work of herbal medicine first published in Italy in 1554. Pietro Andrea Mattioli (1501-1577) was an Italian doctor and naturalist who wrote commentaries on 'De Materia Medica', an encyclopaedia of herbal medicine by the first century Greek physician and botanist Dioscorides.
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