Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Voynich Manuscript: Cucumber

Cucumber (Cucumis sativus), presented with one leaf and one fruit, may be the plant on fol. 8r of the Voynich Manuscript. The old herbal example is from the British Library Egerton 747 (visit here ).


  1. Hello Ellie!
    I started getting interested in the Voynich manuscript after visiting very impressing site of Edith Sherwood. But today I think you broke all records of plant recognition.

  2. Hi Rubi, Edith Sherwood is my inspiration. Her way of presentation is very effective and she has a lot of ids that are spot on, in my opinion. I have great respect for her work.
    All the best! Elle

  3. She was my introduction to the "Voynich" world of plants. She also displayed her ventures into the world of the Benin Bronzes. It was on her site that we also visited some of the local historic sites (El Mina, being one. Fascinating! It is nice to see your posts again, too, Ruby.

  4. Page 151 of Busbecq's "Turkish Letters", a brief mention of the Janissary's ration of turnip, onion, garlic, parsnip, and cucumber, seasoned with salt and vinegar. Earlier pages of this same book, pp 52 thru 54, discuss oxygala/yogurt, relishes of sour milk, cheese, prunes, pears, peaches, quinces, figs, raisins, and cornel-cherries -- all of which are boiled in clean water and set out on large earthenware trays.....

    So, have I given you a little positive backup on your researches? I am still puzzling over the plant you display (f9r) which could possibly be a pelargonum/geranium (spicy-fragrant herbs with one specimen (apple-scented which has tiny white flowers marked with pinpoints of red: P. odoratissumum. Pelargoniums are a pain in the a-- to "specify". Not that I'm complaining or anything like that.... :)