Blog launched: Sept 1, 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mandragora officinarum

DSCN3350 [Mandragora officinarum]

This plant has been well-known since antiquity mainly because of its toxicity and its anthropomorphic root shape. Its toxicity and its pharmaceutical properties led to its extensive use in medicine while its root shape led people to associate the plant with numerous superstitions and magic filters.

“There is a superstition that if a person pulls up this root they will be condemned to hell. Therefore in the past people have tied the roots to the bodies of animals and then used these animals in order to pull the roots out of the soil.” [Wikipedia]

Kea: 29/11/2008, photo © Tony Taglides
DSCN7058 [Mandragora officinarum]

Its blue-violet flowers appear from March to April and have both male and female reproductive organs; a fact that makes it easier for insects to pollinate them.

Kea: 15/03/2009, photo © Tony Taglides

DSCN4984 [Mandragora officinarum]

Its fruit, on the other hand, was believed [and they say it’s still believed in the East] to facilitate pregnancy!

Irakleia: 26/03/2010, photo © Tony Taglides

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