Botanical: habit& habitat – water plants and vines grouped

[format errors repaired 17/03/2017]

This  should be a handy reference.  Assuming that most people who are interested in the Voynich ms are not botanists, and that those who are will know the technical terms, I use layman’s language where possible.

ceramic Singapore preColonial

*AQUATIC PLANTS: these pictures use a convention that  is – or has been derived from – Asian custom. The ceramic seen at left is from pre-colonial Singapore.

waterplants DAY pdf
see: Florence E. Day, ‘Mesopotamian manuscripts of Dioscorides’

Note that in some manuscripts of the Arabian-Syriac-Greek tradition a similar custom occurs relatively late (i.e. from the eleventh century), but whether deriving from older Hellenstic originals, or due to influence of Uyghur and Chinese painters in earlier Baghdad is uncertain. Example from a thirteenth-century page, inscribed in Arabic, but apparently painted by some of different, or lowlier status about whom the calligrapher complains, but who is given no other recognition.

.fol 39r ; fol 49v-iii;

f39r plant detail
f.39r.  V.G. enlargement
f.94v-iii detail blog
f.94v-iii. V.G. enlargement
  • WATER-SIDE PLANTS.

differ by showing the ground as a two-dimensional profile, not as a  plane.

fol. 43r;     fol. 46r;

 

 

fol 43r detal
fol 43r detail. VG enlargement
fol 46r VG enlargement
fol 46r VG enlargement

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

.

  • .VINES. 

double gourd plant clearVines are identified by slender, undulating stem. The typical example is  fol. 4v (Clematis spp.), shown left.

Here, as always, a circumscription line indicates a cultivated plant and lack of one, a plant which grew wild.

Vms folios include pepper vines (IMO):

  

f.35v tree supporting Pepper vine.  (P. nigrum)

f. 96v – ‘Long’ peppers: Piper longum  P.cubeba

fol 35v small blog
f35v VG enlargement
fol 96v
fol 96v VG enlargement

.

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

P. cubeba
P. cubeba
P. nigrum
P. nigrum

.

P.longum
P.longum

 

 

.

 

 

  • Other vines:   f. 49r; 
fol 49r
fol 49r

f. 36v(?); 

Tropical waterside plants often have  roots similar to f.36v so it may be intended for a philodendron. ( Comparative picture from an estuary in Bali) Update22 March 2013 I’ve looked at this folio in more detail, and what seems to be a single leaf here may be meant for several: if that were the case, I’d be inclined to see this as Amaranthus –  a group with very slender stems but which are not vines.

waterside roots Bali

  • fol 36v small blog

.
.
.
.
.
..

  •  Possible – plants with  vine-like stems – very slender but not markedly undulating.

Note:  fol. 17r is distinguished from pepper vines by its tendrils. Otherwise its sorrel-like leaves would make it very like P.cubeba (Java pepper).

fol 17r VG enlargement
fol 17r VG enlargement
fol 17v VG enlargement
fol 17v VG enlargement

.

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

  • Lianas (?) – combining tree-like and vine-like elements. See comments here and  here.
  • a very tentative identification for fol. 37r –  Shefflera actinophylla, which is known as the Octopus tree or Umbrella tree.  The leaves and their arrangement are similar; the umbrella-like ribs at the base, and the octopus-like root mnemonic suggest it, but the fruits are not formed exactly the same, and in most cases the fruit is drawn exactly as it appears.

f. 10r; f.37r

fol 10r VG enlargement
fol 10r VG enlargement
fol 27r VG enlargement
fol 37r VG enlargement

f37r root detail

botanical Scheffleria actinophylla Octopus Umbrella tree

 

 

 

 

– finally, and simply because it’s a brilliant photograph, here’s  a flowering liana in Sarawak

Advertisements

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