Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Voynich Manuscript: Hazel

The drawing on f28v of the Voynich manuscript (Beinecke 408) could represent anything and very few dare to guess. My favorite plant for this picture so far is Corylus Colurna (Turkish hazel).
According to Dioscorides hazelnuts were the main ingredient in the ancient Rogain. Mixed with other herbs into paste the hazelnuts were applied then on the scalp as cure for baldness.Don't try this at home! Enjoy your hazelnuts as a healthy snack instead.


  1. It looks to me, though, as if the flower rises out of a 'split' - in something of the same way that (e.g.) a Canna lily does.

    Not positing Canna lily as identification, just an illustration of form.


  2. Possibly "Witch Hazel"? Hamamelis/Hamamelidaceae (Greek Hama + mela) flowers and fruit sometimes appearing on the plants at the same time: Is that a fruit/nut I see next to the stem?

    If you like, I'll do a quick tentative translation of f28v; but only if you indicate it is OK with you. I'll check back in a day or so.

  3. Hi Diane, thanks for the link. It is probably a flower as you say. The Turkish hazel just inspires imagination.

    Hi BD, I am taking a break from the text - relaxing with flower pictures :)
    Please feel free to share your translations. They make interesting stories. What is the alphabet you use?

  4. Ellie,

    I took a good (magnified) look at folio 28v. Whether that object which appears to the right of the stem is a seed, fruit, or perhaps an overhead view of the inflorescence, could be moot. The manuscript has had a stitched repair done on that spot.

    Still, it is a beautiful portrayal of a plant which apparently was capable of having flowers and fully ripe fruit at the same time.

    How doth your garden grow? My Crocuses , Hyacinths,Tulips, Daphne, and Coral Bells are in bloom, and make for a very fine view from our dining area.

  5. Dear Bd, unfortunately, I have only one cactus - that's the only thing that can survive my care :)

    Mother nature will provide me soon with blooming flowers - I'll take pictures when I go rock-picking for my tumbler.

  6. Just don't leave your poor cactus out in the rain! Euphorbia's come in a huge variety of shapes and colors. I just recently purchased a "Euphorbia x martinii "Tiny Tim", which branches are scaly red, with tiny leaves and a red dot at the center of leaf swirls. Drought tolerant, deer resistant, evergreen, and dwells well in rock gardens!

    Only about another six weeks of school for your boys? Got some rock-hounding planned? What my husband & I used to do was vacation in our California, Nevada, Arizona, & New Mexico deserts and visit hot springs in between our locating and viewing petroglyphs -- fascinating!

    Enuff monopolizing for now; enjoy Spring ! A tout a l'heure!