Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Voynich Manuscript: Nettle

Voynich Manuscript researcher Steve D at proposed today Coffee (Coffea Arabica) as plant ID for the drawing on f25r of Beinecke 408. It is a very interesting ID, because the picture shows brown bean-like forms close to the stem. I like this proposal very much, however, just as alternative possibility I will nominate the Stinging Nettle (variation Urtica Pilulifera) based on some details of the leaves on f25r and the appearance of the plant in the old herbals. Stinging Nettle (Urtica) was first suggested by Theodore Petersen and Ethel Voynich here.


  1. More likely burdock? Interestingly enough, here in the US (and in our back acres near our creek) we have stinging nettle (which has rather timid flower/seed heads) growing nearby.

    Another likely candidate could be a weed which barbed seedpods have been utilized as "carding/currying" brushes for preparing animal hair/fiber for handspinning yarn: teasel.

    Both nettle and burdock are edible (nettle for greens and burdock for tea). So I'll take a "close-up" look at f25r.

    So, it appears that not all of the Vms botanicals are so much "edible" as they might be medicinal. (?)

  2. Hi BD, it seems they tried everything as medicine in the old times. I wonder who did they use to experiment on with all those remedies :)
    I haven't seen a perfect match for this one. So the search is wide open.