Monday, May 6, 2013

The Voynich Manuscript: Strawberry Blite, Red Valerian

Strawberry Blite (Chenopodium capitatum) may be the plant on fol. 37r of the Voynich manuscript based on the berries.

Based on the leaves the VMs researcher Diane O'Donnovan places the same plant on fol.  96v.

Another interesting proposal for fol 37r comes from Theodore Petersen - Red Valerian (Centranthus ruber).


  1. I'm with you, and Petersen: Centranthus ruber. Sometimes what makes a big difference in identifying plants is how the leaves attach to the stem.
    Several years ago I was trying to identify which specimen of dogbane was used for making cord. The leaf pairs for making cord had to attach to the stem without rotating their positions at all. Only then would I be able to strip a continuous strip of bark from cut end to the flowering tip.

    I'm finishing my translation of folio 17v. Just a couple of loose ends to tidy up my conversation. No codiology there.

  2. Wonderful as usual

  3. I've just downloaded f96v (which is being discussed on Nick's latest comparison of folio 17v, 96v. and 99r). I've done a rough translation which is identifying 96v as also being an aquatic plant quite similar to f17v. There is some confusion as to whether folio 17 is verso or reverso. My point being, that there is no comparison between those folios and the plant you are now displaying. Stick with Petersen!


  4. Ellie, may I ask you to change the sentence where you mention me?

    My surname is O'Donovan

    also - because my identification was made in 2011, and as the end result of treating the whole figure on a different folio entirely, I see no need to be mentioned here.

    As you like, of course - but in any case I feel the description 'Voynich researcher' is not so appropriate, because I'm treating this manuscript from the point of art analysis, in which I'm qualified, and it's just one of a number of problematic works on which I'm working at present.

    At the moment, another is proving so very interesting, I'm not sure how much more time I can spent on this ms. at all, which is sad for me. I like it very much.