Diverse identifications

The previous posts I made where of a more thematical nature. But there also a number of folios that have enough clues to identify the plants directly.

The plant on folio 2v has a thick rhizome that is typical for a waterplant.  The leaf is smooth and roughly heart-shaped. The flower has a bell shape and shows a bit of frill on the edges of the petals.
Suggested identity: Water snowflake (Nymphoides indica). This plant is known in Dioscorides as “malabathron” and as ayurvedic medicinal plant.

For the next plant (folio 5r) has Paris (Herb Paris) already been suggested. I follow that suggestion. There are two species in the genus Paris: Paris quadrifolia and Paris polyphylla. Both are used in traditional medicine. I can’t find any reason to favour the one over the other for this folio.
Folio 5v shows a plant with small red flowers. However, I think we should be looking for a plant with yellow flowers, since a yellow pigment hasn’t been used in the manuscript. I would like to suggest Common Tormentil for this plant. The picture presents a little puzzle, since the plant actually looks more like Hoary Cinquefoil (Potentilla argentea) including the silvery backside of the leaves and having five petals instead of four. However, the Hoary Cinquefoil has no known medicinal properties and the Common Tormentil does.

For folio 7r the white waterlily (Nymphea alba) has been suggested. I couldn’t agree more.

For the next folio I would like to suggest a plant that doesn’t seem to be on anyone’s list yet: Mile-a-minute weed (Persicaria perfoliata). The folio is actually quite a detailed depiction of this weed, even down to the little hook on the stem that the weed uses for climbing. The leaves of the plant are used in traditional Chinese medicine.

Folio 9r shows a plant with weird leaves, very pronounced roots and a flowering stalk that doesn’t much look like flowers. For that reason I would like to suggest Royal Fern (Osmunda regalis) for this plant. The flowering frond and the roots are a good match, though one has to use a bit of imagination to fit the leaves with the actual plant. The plant has been used in traditional eastern and western medicine.

Folio 9v: Everybody agrees that this folio represents Viola tricolor (heart’s ease). Not much more needs to be said about that!

Folio 13r is thought by some to represent a banana tree. I can’t agree with that. The banana was introduced ito Asia and Europa after the time the manuscript was produced. I’d rather go with the other suggestion for this plant: Common butterbur (Petasites hybridus). Especially the root has been used in traditional medicine. This fits very well with the pronounced roots in the image. Also the leaf scars are quite natural.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Identification and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s