Here’s some historical Italian botany; an illustration by Jacopo Ligozzi on display in the Palazzo Pitti and photographed without flash in keeping with museum policy. Always impressed by how well this camera does in low light conditions. The interesting thing is that this lovely illustration (ca. 1577-1567) of mandrake (Mandragora autumnalis – Nightshade family) is pretty accurate (flowers aren't quite right) while illustrations of an earlier era portrayed this famous toxic plant anthropomorphically and very inaccurately. (Does anyone remember Mandrake the Magician comics?) This illustration has held up very well for 400 plus years. Ligozzi was about 20 years earlier than Gerard’s famous herbal, which also had fairly accurate (although sometimes mislabeled) illustrations. According to legend, and as portrayed in Harry Potter, a mandrake it could scream so loud it could kill you if you pulled it up, even if to repot it. Here the taproots, often branched, look like roots rather than arms and/or legs.
21 hours ago in Variety of Life