Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Voynich Manuscript: The Ghost Flower

The Voynich manuscript 'Ghost Flower' can be observed if you zoom in the first bloom from left to right on fol. 55r. It looks like the artist started drawing one flower and ended up with a weird symbol in its place. So when looking for real plant to match the drawing on fol 55r one has to wonder, if the plant should look more like the final symbol or like the ghost symbol beneath it.

The importance of the ghost flower is that it may explain inconsistencies in other plant IDs. Steve D. suggested Dogtooth violet (Erythronium dens-canis) for the spotted leaved plant on fol 39r and I really like this proposal. The paired leaves, the dog-tooth shaped root showing at the bottom - all this kind of brings confidence in this ID. And then comes the very Voynichese flower symbol that is not perfectly right - no ghost flower on this page to give us a hint.

This type of flower symbols in the VMs may represent  the flower before full bloom. It could be something totally different of course. Based on the 'ghost flower' and the leaves my personal favorite plant ID for fol55r is the Dark Columbine (Aquilegia atrata) which for now will be my placeholder for this page.

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