Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Voynich Manuscript: Plant ID List

This will be permanent post with my interpretation of the plants drawing in the Voynich Manuscript. It is subjective speculation since the author's intentions are unknown. The list includes my ids and proposals made by other researchers. I worked mostly with the lists by Ethel Voynich/Theodore Petersen (visit here), Edith Sherwood,PhD (visit here), Steve D (visit here) and Dana Scott on the VMs list archives (visit here). The post will be updated as new proposals come in. Click on the image to enlarge. I added plant distribution maps for Europe from and where available.

Fol. 1v -  St. John's Wort (Hypericum)

Based on Ypericon in the British Library Sloane 4016 here and Androsaimom in the Morgan Library Dioscorides MS M.652 here  and here. The root may represent devil's foot.

Fol. 1v - Deadly Nightshade (Atropa Belladonna) - id by Ethel Voynich/Theodore Petersen

Fol. 2r - Spotted Knapweed (Centaurea) - id by Edith Sherwood

I used Centaurea maculosa in the image. The root may represent capital of ionic column - the plant was used according to the mythology to cure the foot of the Centaur Chiron.

Fol. 2v - Water Lily
Ethel Voynich pointed similarities with Floating Heart plants (Nymphoides). Rene Zandbergen noticed similarities with iconography of the water lily in the 14th-15th century herbals that often include European white water lily, Nymphaea alba (Nenuphar).

Fol. 3r - Joseph's Coat (Amaranthus tricolor) - id by Steve D

Fol. 4r - Flax (Linum usitatissimum) - id by Steve D

There is letter F on one of the branches and what could be 'rot' above the root

Fol. 4v - Clematis - id by Diane O'Donovan, Clematis integrifolia - id by Steve D

Diane O'Donovan suggested that the root may represent equipment for distillation. 

Fol. 5r -  Herb Paris - id by Ethel Voynich

Fol. 5v - Mallow (Malva sylvestris) - id by Edith Sherwood

Fol. 6r - Philodendron - id by Dana Scott

Fol. 6r -Wild Mignonette (Reseda lutea)

The roots of this plant were used to make yellow dye called Weld since ancient times, which may explain the yellow color of the root of the VMs drawing.

Fol. 6v - Castor oil plant (Ricinus communis) - id by Ethel Voynich/Theodore Petersen

Fol. 7r - Goat's Beard (Geropogon hybridus) - id by Steve D

Fol. 7v -Hairy Alpenrose (Rhododendron hirsutum)


Fol 8r - Cucumber (Cucumis sativus)

Fol. 8v - Red Campion (Silene dioica) - id by Theodore Petersen

Fol. 9r - Common Grape Vine (Vitis vinifera)

Fol. 9r - White mulberry (Morus alba)

White mulberry is the favorite food of the silkworm. The root reminds of fabric and the extensions of the leaves may symbolize the silkworms (Bombyx mori) feeding on them. Once the silk production was a state secret of China but by the 15th century the silk was made also in Italy and France.

Fol. 9v -Wild Pansy (Viola Tricolor) - id by Ethel Voynich/Theodore Petersen

Fol. 10r - Common Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus)

The mountain cornflower (Centaurea montana) has wider leaves than the common one - so it may have been 'the model' for the drawing. The Cornflower was used to treat conjunctivitis and as wash for tired eyes. I believe the root formations are pretty good anatomical representations of eyeballs.


Fol. 10v - Twinflower (Linnaea borealis) - id by Edith Sherwood

Fol. 11v - Turmeric (Curcuma longa) - id by Edith Sherwood

Fol. 13r - Banana (Musa) - id by Edith Sherwood

The plant is fit into overall  shape of Fleur-de-lis.The root may represent human heart.

Fol. 13v - Honeysuckle - id by Edith Sherwood

I used goat-leaved honeysuckle (Lonicera caprifolium) for the illustration based on caprifollium - British Library Egerton 747 (visit here) .

Fol. 14v - Wood Betony (Stachys) - id by Edith Sherwood

For illustration I used Stachys officinalis (id by Steve D)

Fol. 15r - Carline Thistle (Carlina Vulgaris)

According to the story in Giovanni Cadamosto 16th century herbal (British Library, Harley 3736 here) an angel advised Charlemagne to eat the thistle so his body can be purged of poison. The six leaves in the VMs drawing end with symbols that somewhat remind of the six 'towers' in the center of the Nine-rosette page.

Fol. 15v - Pinkroot (Arapabaca, Spigelia anthelmia) - Ruby Novačna
One of the root strings seems pink


Fol. 16r - Hemp (Cannabis sativa) - id by Theodore Petersen

Fol. 16v - Eringium - Sea Holly - id by Ethel Voynich

I used Eryngium alpinum - Alpine Sea Holly - for the illustration because the cut of the flower and the leaves match better the VMs drawing, in my opinion.


Fol. 16v - Black Knapweed (Jacea Nigra)

Based on BNF Latin 9474 ( here ) - the picture of Jacea Nigra is labeled Flamette. The flame-name today belongs to totally different flower, but in late 15th-early 16th century France it was associated apparently with Jacea.

Fol. 17r - Wild Tarragon/Estragon (Artemisia dracunculus)

Tarragon has mild menstruation inducing properties and was taken in the old times in case of late period. This may explain the similarity between the details in the roots of the plant on the drawing and anatomy of the female reproductive organs.


Fol. 17v -Wild buckwheat (polygonum convolvulus) - id by Dana Scott
I think that the root represents camel going through eye of a needle - based on the story in the New Testament (I know it is a big stretch :) Wild buckwheat was poor man's food which in some languages is its common name.

Fol. 18r - Calendula officinalis - id by Ethel Voynich/ O'Neill/ Petersen

Fol. 18v - Edelweiss (Leontopodium, Lion's Paw)

Based on the 10th century Pseudo-Apuleius French manuscript in the National Library of Netherlands here . Edelweiss is also hard to recognize in the 13-14th century Italian manuscript (Egerton 747, British Library here ).

Fol. 19r - Jacob's Ladder (Polemonium caeruleum) - id by Edith Sherwood

Fol. 19v -  Cleavers (Galium aparine)

Fol. 20r - Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus)

Fol. 21r - Common Knotgrass (Polygonum aviculare)

Fol. 21v - Stonecrop (Sedum dasyphyllum or Sedum spirium) - id by Ethel Voynich

Fol. 22r - Sedum (Sedum Maximum) - id by Ethel Voynich

Fol. 22v - Alpine Pasqueflower (Pulsatilla alpina)

The root formation maybe meant to represent flogging device similar to cat-o-nine-tails. Similar Roman whip was used for the scourging of Jesus. The plant is fit into overall shape of tulip.

Fol. 23r - Shrubby Cinquefoil (Dasiphora fruticosa)


Fol. 23v - Borage (Borago officinalis) - id by Edith Sherwood

Fol. 24r - Sea Campion (Silene maritima) - id by Steve D

Fol. 25r - Bdellium (Commiphora wightii)

Other  proposals for this VMs plant are Nettle (Ethel Voynich) and Coffea Arabica (Steve D.)

Fol. 26r - Saw-leaved speedwell (Veronica austriaca)

Fol 27r (1) - Bay leaf - Laurus nobilis

Fol 27r (2) - Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) - id by Guy Mazars and Christophe Wiart

Fol 27r (2) - Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata)

Fol. 27v -Traveler's Joy (Clematis Vitalba)

The root shape has some similarities to rope making tools. According to Johnson, Magnus, 2001, The Genus Clematis book the Traveler's Joy was used in Switzerland for rope making since the Stone Age. It is still reflected in the common names of the plant in Bavaria and Austria.


Fol. 28r -  Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)

Fol. 28v -Jasmine (Jasminum angustifolium)

The long hairy calyx  may be the meaning of the green background of the flower. The women in South Asia decorate their hair with jasmine.

Fol. 29r - Fishbone thistle (Ptilostemon casabonae)

Burdock (Arctium lappa) was proposed by Ethel Voynich/Theodore Petersen for this page, which is also good possibility.

Fol. 29v - Roman coriander (Nigella sativa) - id by Edith Sherwood

According to Dioscorides the seeds mixed with vinegar are cure for crocodile and dog-bites. There is possibility that the root of the plant on the drawing represents crocodile skull - often present in medieval wunderkammer.

Fol. 30v - Nettle (Urtica membranacea) - id by Steve D

Fol. 31v - Henbane (Hyoscyamus niger)

Fol. 32r - Lantana camara (Spanish Flag) - id by Dana Scott

The root seems to show striped flag (I used the Royal Banner of Aragon as example of striped flag with Lantana camara colors).

Fol. 32v -The Ivy-leaved Bellflower (Wahlenbergia hederacea)

The root reminds of peacock.

Fol. 33r - Fringed Campion (Silene fimbrata)

The root contains drawing of two faces - hair (fringe?, hair-line) included. The word 'fringe' is 14th century French from Latin 'frimbria' - fibers,threads,fringe.

Fol. 33v - Pincushion Flower (Scabiosa) - id by Ethel Voynich/Theodore Petersen

The roots may represent pincushions.

Fol. 34r - Great Masterwort (Astrantia major/minor)

The plant was used to treat the bite of a rabid dog, which may explain the animal in the root.


Fol. 34v - Money plant (Lunaria annua) - id by Edith Sherwood

The fruits of the plant may represent coins. The root may represent the wolf and the dog from the Moon Tarot card.

Fol. 35r - Fishtail Palm (Caryota urens)

Based on the 'fishtail' root of the plant of the drawing, the jagged leaves and the overall shape of a cup (wine cup?). The fishtail palm is source for high quality jaggery (traditional uncentrifuged brown sugar). It is also used to produce palm wine and palm beer.

Fol. 35v - Oak /Ivy combination - id by Rene Zandbergen

Based on Manfredus de Monte Imperiali (BNF Latin 6823, visit here )
Edith Sherwood found another example of the oak/ivy combination from another 15th century N.Italian herbal (let me know if you know the manuscript and where it is)

Fol. 36r - Geranium - id by Ethel Voynich, Zdravetz (Geranium macrorrhizum) - id by Steve D

Fol. 36v - Alpine Lady's Mantle (Alchemilla Alpina)

Fol. 37r - Strawberry Blite (Chenopodium capitatum)


Fol. 38 r - Torch Ginger (Etlingera elatior)

The Torch Ginger is east Asian flower. There are dots inside each 'drop' which reminds of the Yin/Yang symbol.

Fol. 39r - Dogtooth violet (Erythronium dens-canis) - id by Steve D

Fol. 40v - Celosia Cristata (Cockscomb)

Fol. 41r - Dill (Anethum Graveolens)

Ethel Voynich saw Carduus thistle here, Edith Sherwood chose Wild Marjoram and Steve D. came up with Common Agrimony. So it looks like this one is really tough for folks to agree on.

Fol. 41v - Arctic sweet coltsfoot (Petasites frigidus v. palmatus) - id by Steve D.

The detail above the root appears to be antlers of male European roe deer and the rest of the root may be representing deer's feet. So the common name at the time of the artist may have been not coltsfoot but something like 'bucksfoot'.

Fol. 42r - Lord-and-ladies (Arum Italicum) - id by Steve D,
                Wild Strawberry (Fragaria vesca) - id by Ellie Velinska

Fol. 42v - Yellow star-thisle (Centaurea solstitialis)

Fol. 43r - Cypress or Ebony

MS Palatino 586, Florence Biblioteca Nazionale shows drawing of cypress shaped like Noah's Ark. Cypress and ebony are among suspected trees to be the 'gopher wood' from which the Noah's Ark was supposedly made of.

Fol. 43v - Wild Teasel (Dipsacus Fullonium)

The wild teasel has formation of sessile leaves in which water is trapped. In the old times it was used for eyewash.

Fol. 45v - Germander (Teucrium chamaedrys) - id by Ethel Voynich

 The word 'germander (chamaedrys)' means 'ground oak' and the herb got its common name likely because of the shape of its leaves. The 'oak name' maybe the base of symbolism in the drawing that seems to be related to the House of Burgundy which experienced its Golden Age during the 15th century (Burgundy's influence spanned all the way from Portugal to the Netherlands).

Oak is among the symbols of Burgundy with the proper Cross of Burgundy being formed by two pruned oak branches.

The root on fol. 45v may represent pruned branch forming a necklace (maybe reference to the famous collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece). The top part of the flowers seems to form quicunx - another symbol of Burgundy.

Fol. 46 r - Fleabane (Pulicaria dysenterica)

Lori and Russ Hoffman suggested on the VMs list that the drawing on fol. 46r maybe inspired by the Biblical story of the 10 plagues of Egypt. The leaves on the plant appear as if they are blown by wind (the East wind brought the plague of locusts and the West wind blew them into the Red Sea) and the roots remind of insects legs.  In the old herbals fleabane appear  by the name 'policaria'. The third plague of Egypt was lice/gnats/fleas and fleabane was believed to repel those parasites.
The French common name for Pulicaria is Herbe Saint-Roch. In the 15th century Saint Roch was evoked in case of bubonic plague.

Fol. 46v - Costmary (Tanacetum balsamita)


Fol. 47v - Lungwort (Pulmonaria obscura) - id by Steve D
Pulmonaria was used to treat gingivitis which may explain the 'teeth' in the root. The root appear also on fol. 102r2 next to a frog. Tree frogs were used in dental care since Avicenna.

Fol. 50v - Round-headed Rampion (Phyteuma globulariifolium)

Fol. 52v - Turnsole (Heliotropium europaeum)

Based on Pseudo-Apuleius tradition.

Fol. 53r - Bugloss (Anchusa variegata)

Bugloss was considered effective treatment for tapeworm, which may explain the root. 

Fol. 53v - Willowherb (Epilobium alpestre)

Fol. 55r - Dark Columbine (Aquilegia atrata)

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.

This type of flower symbols in the VMs may represent  the flower before full bloom. Based on the 'ghost flower' and the leaves my personal favorite plant ID for fol. 55r is the Dark Columbine (Aquilegia atrata) which for now will be my placeholder for this page.

Fol. 55v - Wild Leek - (Allium ursinum)

The plant is favorite of the wild boar and a wild pig may be hidden in the roots of the drawing on this page. Nick Pelling saw the root as elephant in 2003 and during discussion on the VMs list in 2013 the Elephant leek was suggested as id by few researchers independently.

Fol. 65r - Comarum Palustre (Marsh Cinquefoil)

Fol. 65 v - Venus' Comb (Scandix pecten-veneris)


Fol. 87v (1) - Common daisy (Bruisewort, Bellis perennis)

Fol. 87v (1) - Primrose (Primula Vulgaris) - id by Edith Sherwood


Fol. 87v (2) - Mastic shrub (Pistacia lentiscus)

Fol. 89v (3) Frankincense (Boswellia sacra)

The base of the plant in the drawing may be an object in the style of the VMs jars. It could be that the plant was potted or it could be incense burner (or anything else, of course). Frankincense was used to treat scorpion bites according to some old recipes.

Fol. 90v - Rue (Ruta Chalapensis)

German common names for Rue refer to the plant as Raute (rhombus) which may explain the edgy flower petals. Rue is repellant for cats (they hate the smell of it) which may explain the root.

Fol. 93r -The Dwarf Everlast (Helichrisum arenarium, Immortelle)

Fol. 93 r - Sunflower -Hugh O'Neill, 1921

Fol. 94r - Moonfern (Botrychium lunaria) - id by Dana Scott

Fol. 94v (3) - Narcissus tazetta - id by Steve D

Fol. 95r - European  Baneberry (Actaea spicata) - Actaea id by Ethel Voynich

Based on the yellow dot detail on the berry I assume the berries are black - just not colored.

Fol. 95v - Fumaria Officinalis

Fol. 96v  Good King Henry's Chenopodium - id by Dana Scott

Diane O'Donovan also chose Chenopodiom in her post here - the Strawberry Blite version of the plant.

Fol. 99v Indigo Milk Cap (Lactarius Indigo)

This edible mushroom exudes blue fluid. It is found in East North America, East Asia and in Europe in Southern France


  1. Hi Ellie,

    Can not decrypts manuscript voynich : Gordon Rugg, Rich SantaColoma, Nick Pelling, Diana, Klaus Schmeh, Montemurro, Zanette, etc.
    Nick Pelling is a scientist. Smart ?
    He never decrypts the manuscript. He knows that I'm right.

    None of them knows the Czech language. So are pissed.

    They read what I write.

    The manuscript is written by Tycho de Brahe ( 1546 - 1601), and Tadeas Hajek of Hajku ( 1525 - 1600).

    Accordingly, one can determine the formation of the registration.

    1. Hi Joseph!
      I tried several times to read your blog, but the automatic translation is not always clear. Have you published the translation of a few paragraphs?

  2. Hi Josef, you could be right. Do you have some text translated? What does it say about the plants?

  3. Well, Ellie, I guess you don't take my word-for word-translation of the discussion which accompanies each and every botanical item. Which I have translated first into the latin phrasing and then formal nomenclature, and backed up each and every one with my references and documentation.

    So, you now follow the path of every person who, so far, has not followed up their identification with either a word-for-word translation or citations. Just about "anybody" can identify each plant by looking through books. What Nick is looking for is a validated translation of the writing. Which is why I have referred you, Nick, Diane, Rich, Elmar, Rene, and Reed Johnson -- and ThomS, ProfZ, and ProfKahn to a recently published book which has validated my findings and translations of not only the botanicals, but the herbal recipes, the "balnealogical" discussions. Most importantly I have identified the writer-sketch artist, and the medical/herbal doctor who accompanied Busbecq on his journeys.

    So, I don't really know what more I can do to convince anyone to take the time and do some travel on the less-traveled paths to knowledge and learning. There is a Whole World Wide Web which will welcome wandering wonderers such as "me, myself, and my mind.

    Fondly, adieu!

    beady-eyed wonder

  4. Hi Ellie. Several recipes in the manuscript is written. For example, both made from acacia. Stir in coffee. A person is then wrong. It has diarrhea and health problems. Or how to use belladonna. etc.

    Ellie. Most of the plants, not the plants. Where are drawn plants, describes the history and events in the life of the Rosenbergs.

    The ones I stated above. Ascribe more Zandbergen and beads.

    Ellie, it is important to decipher the Voynich letter. He says the manuscript is.

  5. Google translate this poorly translated. So once again.
    The manuscript never decrypts Zandbergen, bead, and Elmar and etc.

  6. Hi Josef, I speak Russian - if it easier for you than English.
    So your point is that the text is not about the flowers, but about the history of the Rosenbergs. On what page is the acacia recipe and the belladonna recipe in your translation?

  7. Hi BD, this list is not attempt for translation. Just attempt to find similar flowers in nature. It is just speculation and does not prove or disprove any theory. It is just my perception about the images - nothing else. I don't need documents to prove my perception - it is just what it is - subjective.

    Other people view the images differently and find it interesting to see how they think about it.

    I don't see how this list is affecting in any way your theory. Just because a picture looks like something doesn't mean this was the author's intentions. You could be right.

    Unfortunately I am not an expert in Latin, so you need to find somebody who is to peer-review your translation. I am interested in your work. I am just not in position to verify it.

    All the best! Ellie

  8. Hi Ellie.
    This is not my opinion. This It tells the manuscript. The acacia is written 86V. About belladonna on many pages. Also the penultimate. Where is it written of killing of Czech King Ladislaus.

    ( Rusian language not known).

  9. Hello Ellie!
    It is a good idea to gather all the plants. I just noticed that E.Sherwood also released another identification. I also would like to add a stone to the edifice, I have proposed a plant for 3R page.

  10. Hallo Ellie,

    your list is something I have been looking for and I am grateful for it.


  11. Thanks Diane and Helmut, hopefully the list will help future researchers to come up with better ideas.

    Hi Ruby, I liked the new list by Edith Sherwood. She found another manuscript with the oak/ivy combination.

    All the best! Ellie

  12. I like this approach Ellie! To find meanings of words before translating by following the pictorial lead. Best regards from Holland!

  13. Suggestions:

    8v = cloves
    25v = mandrake

    Greetz WR Holland

  14. Hi WR, Greetings to Holland!

    If you zoom in fol. 25v you will notice that under the green paint the leaves have this parallel lines that go all along the length of the leaf. For the artist to spend time and ink to draw them it must have been important detail. Some proposals include Plantago Lanseolata (from Steve D) and Dracaena (from Dana Scot).
    I haven't made my mind on this one, yet. Edith Sherwood has the mandrake for fol. 44r. I haven't worked on that one yet.

    About 8v - Sherwood has Comfrey there, which also like, but I went with Voynich/Petersen id. I like the blue stripes detail on the flower - it reminds me of the red Silene. I agree with you that the leaves and the flowers match with the cloves plant. It is just missing the stripes. However, there are much worst problems with many of the ids than missing stripes, so you could be right about the cloves.
    Thank for the proposals! All the best! Ellie

  15. By the way, does the arctic coltsfoot have (or had in the past) common name related to deer, deer-foot,deer-hoofs in Holland?

  16. Dear Ellie,

    It's funny, I don't know how to react.. Already dismissed 10 long replies... I guess I wanted to give you a headstart by determining the 3rd plant by 100% probability. Mandrake 25v. Please do your homework, I don't care about the cloves! Haha!

    Or tell me how to cooperate because... I am not solely in the picture comparison business.. I want to help!

    But my approach to the VMS is:
    1. Knowing history
    2. Explaining probabilities from knowing history
    3. Changing these probabilities in likelyhoods
    4. Changing likelyhoods in theories
    5. Proof my theories
    6. Draw a conclusion

    As a not linguistic master, I focus first on the pictures in a very similar way like you do. But through just named channels. That doesn't mean I will be faster and more progressive than you, but I will be more certain.

    And if the total VMS makes some sense pictorial, then I will fantasize about translating it, never before. And I'm sure I could at that time, through internet, without any knowledge. Because I already will know all the words I am looking for to translate. I call this reverse-translating, just made it up, it means, you try to translate the meaning of a tree, when you are already 100% sure it is a tree. So if then you see boom, you know it must be Dutch. There's probably already a better word for that.

    All this is based on my believe the VMS is no hoax. And that it is some Muliere or trotulum or whatever basically. So a handbook for a 15th century doctor/student, or a gift to some woman to help herself...

    The idea that it is mnemonic scares me, like a computus, because that would mean the text really has nothing to do with the pictures anymore.*

    So my initial go will be on the basis that this is a normal medicinal book which makes perfect sense in some strange tongue...

    Eehm yeah I guess I introduced myself and will answer your second question separately. I also guess this still was a long reply. Sorry.

    If you really need more info on 25v, then please let me know, and give me.. an emailadress or so?? I'm new here sorry! ;-) But this feels like a nice place to start.

    BR WRH

  17. This website isnt very user-friendly. 8 options to put a reply, make a wrong move, and lose it all! But ok, after 4 times, I will type it in wordpad first...


    Hoefblad is still the word today, meaning hoof-leave.

    "Petasites is afgeleid van het Oudgriekse woord 'petasos' dat een herdershoed aanduidt."

    Pesatis has derrived from the Old-Greek word "petasos" meaning the hat of a shepherd.

    Poolhoefblad (Petasites frigidus) << This is your arctic one, seems to thrive in North-American area.

    I can see I already wondered around on a few links on this page. Forgot why..

    Hope this helps.


    Het geslacht is nauw verwant aan het geslacht kruiskruid (Senecio).
    << Senecio comes real close.

    Klein hoefblad (Tussilago farfara) behoort niet tot dit geslacht.
    << Does not belong to same sexe

    BR WRH

  19. Hi Ellie,

    Sorry I got dragged away yesterday and was tired... Anyway, of course it is all just theorie. I have doubts myself again... So.. I will work on some own plantlist individually, some of yours I probably agree on already. Then I will present it when I finished my theories and I will add picures and stories and theories next time... So see you much, much later!

    By the way, I found that searching in Dutch gives me great advantages indeed...

    So I don't know if you saw this link already, but have fun!

    All the best, WRH

  20. Hi WRH, the VMs could be in Dutch, I agree.

    I am glad that you are starting with the right attitude about the VMs being doctor/student book, 15th century. I tried all kinds of crazy theories before settling for the obvious, so you will not be wasting time like I did.

    Please, feel free to let me know when you have any VMs related ideas.

    I test mine by writing on the VMs mail list. The folks there keep me grounded :) That way I can get feedback from folks who spent years thinking on the matter. I just started the plant id search few months ago.

    To join the VMs mailing list - follow the link here

    I see the coltsfoot word in Dutch is similar in meaning to the German one. Thanks for your response and I hope you have a better luck than I did with the plants!

    All the best! Ellie

  21. Lost a lot of text again here :-(

  22. When I press publish without selecting first, it makes me lose my text... It's sad for a tired man...

  23. plant theories I'm working on:

    96v = spekwortel? Dioscorea communis, basioniem: Tamus communis

    38r = gerst

    11v/38v artisjok

    Yeah I remember I typed 96v is of high interest to me, because it is also used later in 99r, and may hold some translation option...

    I will return when I have some more energy, laterz!!!

  24. O yeah and I thanked you for that link haha ;-)

  25. Hi Ellie,

    I type it in wordpad again first, sigh..

    What I was trying to propose is to make a list of common herbals from those days. And try to compare them to the VMS pictures later. In English and Latin. By other people like you.

    Some species you could expect are laurier, munt, peterselie, etc. This is my method, first find logical herbs and medicin used in those days.

    The many women in it provoke an attitude towards female medicine, including vaginal issues and pregancy issues and fertility issues and menstruation issues and milking issues and sexual issues, of which many were solved by taking herbal baths in those days, knowledge reaching us from the Arab world mostly. Of course if there ever was a problem, the cause would lie in the woman, not the man, mostly. Sad but true.

    Also I reject the idea it is Dutch, because I refuse it to be a computus, haha, and the many cz remind me of Eastern Europe. Also the mulierum secreta came more from Eastern-Europe after 1400.

    For computus-minded people I would recommend the school of Zwolle from those days.

    My only true conclusion so far is the red V on the first page representing Maria and V for 5, the number of letters of Maria. And as said before, no connection to any Chinese character! The lower V with snake I believe to be symbol of female medicine.

    So I guess I really didn't get further than page 1, but I am convinced about that red V. There is a lot of easy proof on the web for that.

    Linguistically I also tend to see the 9 as "us" now... And the 4 as C. But that's just a hunch. I dont' wanna get into my linguistic opinions yet...

    So... yeah, that's it for now... Please let me know what you would think about such a list of commonly used plants/roots/herbs.

    BR WRH

  26. Hi Ellie,

    I type it in wordpad again first, sigh..

    What I was trying to propose is to make a list of common herbals from those days. And try to compare them to the VMS pictures later. In English and Latin. By other people like you.

    Some species you could expect are laurier, munt, peterselie, etc. This is my method, first find logical herbs and medicin used in those days.

    The many women in it provoke an attitude towards female medicine, including vaginal issues and pregancy issues and fertility issues and menstruation issues and milking issues and sexual issues, of which many were solved by taking herbal baths in those days, knowledge reaching us from the Arab world mostly. Of course if there ever was a problem, the cause would lie in the woman, not the man, mostly. Sad but true.

    Also I reject the idea it is Dutch, because I refuse it to be a computus, haha, and the many cz remind me of Eastern Europe. Also the mulierum secreta came more from Eastern-Europe after 1400.

    For computus-minded people I would recommend the school of Zwolle from those days.

    My only true conclusion so far is the red V on the first page representing Maria and V for 5, the number of letters of Maria. And as said before, no connection to any Chinese character! The lower V with snake I believe to be symbol of female medicine.

    So I guess I really didn't get further than page 1, but I am convinced about that red V. There is a lot of easy proof on the web for that.

    Linguistically I also tend to see the 9 as "us" now... And the 4 as C. But that's just a hunch. I dont' wanna get into my linguistic opinions yet...

    So... yeah, that's it for now... Please let me know what you would think about such a list of commonly used plants/roots/herbs.

    BR WRH

  27. 96v some other person colored it unlike the one who drawed it. Because some berries that should be red are colored green. This is typically something I recognize as a pseudo artist working with other artists.. This is one conclusion for me!

    If the colors were made by the same person that drew them, he/she would never make that mistake! So for me that is a conclusion, the original drawings may not have been colored at all!

    1. I too tend to think that the person who drew it was not the person who coloured it. My reason is that while the line drawings are delicately rendered, the colouring in, or painting (mainly in green and brown), is quite messy by comparison, almost like someone's child got hold of it and used it as a colouring book. The two are not congruent.

  28. I'm really sorry for my mistake, I meant 99r

  29. Dioscorea communis, basioniem: Tamus communis = theory

    But at the bottom of 99r you can find my proposal about wrong colors.

    This is the same plant as on 96v. So I am very interested in it!

    Dear Ellie, please give me a proper link to share my thoughts, rather than your plantlist, thanks!

    BR WRH

  30. Hi BR WRH,

    I truly believe the VMs mailing list will benefit you the most. All the points you make are very interesting - especially about the red V on the first page (I really like the idea). There are some who believe the VMs colors were applied later. Your reasoning makes perfect sense.
    My personal believe is that the VMs is western European creature (just a feeling - not a fact). I would choose West rather than East if I have to - I would go with Netherlands and W Germany rather than Prague, France and Switzerland rather than Austria, North West Italy rather than Venice :) There is a good chance I am wrong about it, of course.
    You can try contacting me on Facebook, if you are on it

  31. Lost my text twice again! Tx and bye!

  32. By suscribing: I receive another Voynich manuscript.

    So I guess I'll go solo...

    But for you I have a some nice words:

    Lawrence J. Schoenberg... Ssst ;-))

    By the way, BR means best regards. So BR W.R.(..) from H(olland)

  33. Just wanna share this, these plants would be likely to be in it. (from: Die Frauelichen Heimelichkeit, some German/Dutch mulierum) I didn't bother to look for matches to VMS yet, thought maybe that would be a nice job for you ;-)

    Polij (Mentha pulegium) (Labiatae of Lamiaceae)

    De pijpbloem (Aristolochia clematitis) (Aristolochiaceae)

    De holwortel (Corydalis cava) (Papaveraceae)

    Sint-janskruid (Hypericum perforatum) (Hypericaceae)

    Fenegriek (Trigonella foenum-graecum)

    Kaasjeskruid (Malva) (Malvaceae)

    Br W

  34. Hi Br W, thanks for the suggestions. I have the Hypericum perforatum on fol 1v, Malva on fol. 5v, Corydalis cava could be the one that I have as Fumaria on fol. 95v (they are very close in appearance, I chose Fumaria because it is in Dioscorides). I was thinking to put the Trigonella foenum-graecum on fol. 43v (the plant on the left), but I haven't decided yet.
    I never force my opinion on anybody (with the exception of my husband :) ) - you can use it if it is any help to you.
    All the best! Ellie

  35. Sorry, I meant W. R. - is that the right way to address you?

  36. Sorry it's Wouter, hi, and yes, I use your pages a lot thanks! (Haha greetings to your husband). I'll check it later I'm more in language-astrology-geography-history today, went via Salerno to Tunisia and Iran and back and I'll let you know when I'm herbally active again.

    At least I learned how to publish now in one time, the hard way ;-)

    Best regards

  37. Hi Ellie,

    I have a theory haha. What if this book was from a merchant, trading in herbs and spices. This merchant then probably was from Venice, because they held the trade monopoly at that time to the East, and it could be a jewish person, some jewish-European languages were lost. This merchant was probably in some guild (gilde), and merchants were not popular with other people. High class didn't like them for calculating every cent, low class thought they abused people. They were often blamed for any disaster. And there is a lot of competition. So enough reasons to make up some language. Inside this language could be prizes for products as well. Or, it could be a language that would translate itself into several other languages with some key. So you could use this to pronounce something in either Italian, Indian and Arab for example. There would be a lot of demand for spices in Italy (Salerno, Padua, up to Hungary and France etc.) They were the VOC of those days. Think perfume business as well. Some bottles look exactly like Egyptian glass perfume bottles. (Just google and you'll find matches, 88v, second page, middle) It was booming business. So check what goes into perfumes in those days as well. Perfumes used for bathing for example, and sometimes for oral use as well. This is why I id 34v as Fig (Ficus carica). They were used in perfumes, and are depicted here in dried form. (35r Y-lang Y-lang?) Etc. The problem with the perfumes theory is that I miss many important ingredients on the plants-list. (sandelwood, olibanum, cassie, styrax bezoin, etc. etc.) The drawings are in a way so the merchant can easily explain to someone what he is looking for, without having to speak their language. Also, there are distillation processes described for perfumes which come close to alchemy. ( Perfumes were also in high demand by the Catholic church. The red V from Maria makes me think it was just some Italian Catholic Merchant. But in Venice, it could be anyone from any country. It could very well have been an Arab person as well, being acquinted with western alphabet. Living in Venice he/she would have to be at least acting to be Catholic as well.

    The merchant has maps for travelling by stars. Things to describe currents and winds, and seasons to know when plants were harvested or when it was a good time to travel. (Explaining why there are no 12 months?) On 68r I think I see the polar star (right circle) close to Ursa Minor. A map with cities and recognition points (86v) With maybe in the middle Nicopolis? With cannons? It should be something still in people's mind, after the terrors that happened there. Or just another famous place for distillation? The four rivers of the Holy Land? Cities were often depicted in round forms. But what's is interesting is a round thing in the right top there. I could be a T and O-map, depicting Asia, Europe and Africa. (Asia on top, half circle, Europe down left, quarter circle, and Africa down right, quarter circle).

  38. The spice trade was something different from the herbs trade, and to call it spices alone already made it sound exclusive and made the prices higher. Bathing was one of the most popular and common things in those times, either for medical, hygienic, social or cosmetic purposes. The merchant probably needed to have some bathing/medical knowledge as well, as to know what products were needed for what purpose.

    On 38r they could very well have had influence from China. These depict Yang in Chinese, meaning sun, male, active, but could be symbol for fertility as well. Yang also symbolizes the plant (male) while Yin depicts roots (moon, female, passive). The Chinese were involved in the trade via India for a long time. (I still exclude Chinese to have anything to do with the texts)

    The sunflower theory I reject. It could be carlina aucalis, or not, it could be any compositae like dandelium or lions teeth for all I care. Why think of a flower that wasn't here in those days?

    If there is any deciphering clue left by the maker in the MS is should be on 57v. Or is that some kind of navigation tool again? Does the word on the left outside the circle say North or South? For translators, 96v and 99r depict the same plant. Apparantly this root alone is enough to make some substance, without mixing it with other stuff. But at least one or two words from 96c should be in 99r as well, otherwise it wouldn't make any sense. So if not, that would mean for me, the text has nothing to do with the pictures. I didn't get to comparing those closely yet, hope someone else will...

    Strange scratches 66v resemble 86r. Both have a W.

    The women in the bath could also depict ingredients. As for perfumes, if you read Das Parfum from Patrick Susskind, or saw the movie, you know that there are base-tones and high-tones to make a perfectly balanced perfume. (Hope the author here didn't intent to distillate women themselves! ;-) 78r-78v for example, the number of women rises from 7 to 8 to 9.

    If id-ing the plants is an already walked path, that can be done by anyone with a book, is there some link to the officially identified plants?

    Of course everyone is eager for one piece of translation. I can already say that that might be impossible. I could easily make some text noone can decipher. If anyone wants to take on this challenge using all the most advanced computer programs, please let me know. At least that would proof that some simple person could invent something noone can translate. But I would check if there were some guilds using some language only they could understand. Looking at the importance of herbal and spice trade, I would not rule out the merchant possibility.

  39. Hope you dont mind my long post,

    greetings Wouter

  40. Hi Wouter, I agree about the trade. My latest suspect had apothecary business and traded medical supplies with Venice.

    As for the bathing section - I have a view it is about human anatomy. Here are some links with images I posted:

    I'll try to organize these into one post in the near future.
    All the best! Ellie

  41. High Ellie tx! I will check later! By the way, 86v middle city I positively id as Jerusalem!

  42. Eehm this because it was always depicted in the middle of any early map. It more resembles God and Heaven than that it actually has to be a geographic place. So it doesn't say anything about the rest of the map, it could even be a worldmap.

    I did notice the organic resemblences in bathing of course. Was just trying to squeeze all in to the perfume-theory haha. Actually I didn't really get into those yet... You mean my idea the women could represent ingredients right? Yeah hmm no I guess not... In general I believe they represent how to use products or what is good for what body-part etc.

    Greetz Wouter

  43. Hi Ellie. I'm coming up with "fragrant orchid" for f100r (lower left). What do you think? I posted a few links on the VMs list in reference.

  44. Hi Cheryl, your proposal does make sense. The plant is common in the region of my interest North-Western Europe and the pictures of the roots you posted on the list are very 'hand-like'. I haven't work on the 'jar' pages at all so don't have any alternative. If the root is meant to be a root - your orchid is just right. If it was meant to represent a hand - it may stand for some common name for the plant at the time - god's hand, Mary's fingers or something similarly bizarre :) Sorry, I didn't respond on the list - my desktop was in repair for couple of days. All the best! Ellie

  45. Здравствуйте! Прочитала, что Вы знаете русский, поэтому пишу...С английским пока трудновато. Мое мнение: Fol.50v - Drosera rotundifolia, Fol.93 - Helianthus annuus. Только не говорите, что в то время никто и не слышал о подсолнухе - в этом вся соль. Но со многими определениями растений я согласна. Yulia May

  46. Привет, Юля! Спосибо! Я согласна с вами на счет Дрозери, а также о подсолнухе. Я знаю что єкспертьі согласньі с вами. Я просто предложила алтернативу.

  47. I read this blog with interest and I came up with some theories too, I think the "white people" symbolize moving cells with their own functions. For instance the "white woman" holding her arms in so called tubes, with other "white women" holding their arms in it at each side, symbolizes the schematic drawing of a uterus. Thus proving by showing the ova to be drawn as females. Another drawing seems to be a symbolized schematic drawing of the male genitalia. And finally I saw a drawing of interrupted tubes which seem to symbolize a line of the nervous system. So my speculation is that it's a medieval biology book exceeding the common knowledge of that time.

  48. Hi, I agree with your interpretation with some variations. Here is my subjective interpretation of the VMs anatomy.
    Thanks for stopping by!

  49. Hello Ellie (and ProfZ and Wouter): You all might like to look into the traders/merchants "lingua franca" -- also known as Sabir. It has helped me considerably when translating some of the folios which have paragraphs of explanations on the various foldout folios. The base language is Latin for every folio I've translated. This includes various gods/goddesses (some from Pleiades). The most interesting, and which I thought would catch your attention was folio 86 v3 (or 86 r3) which I call the "mushroom folio". I thought this might catch your eye as far as what your "orphan" Pope may have consumed the night before he died (after only a few months of being appointed.
    Gotta eat! I'll keep in touch --

  50. Addendum: I have located and translated the saffron crocus folio and immediately my post was buried under a lot of "gabble". I've also posted my identification of the water lotus (and its dried seedpod). Amazing how hard it is to convince people that probably a huge source of antique manuscripts, which contents have been translated into Latin by various researchers over the last few centuries, never gets read by "amateur"/"untrained" individuals. I am where I am today because I was probably one of the first people to access the WWW. I know I was one of the very first persons to take my Apple IIC to work with me. I was then able to introduce my bosses to "words in text" recognition "hardware" and "software" as they became available at various conventions. I was probably one of the first persons to sign up for email. Just so you all know, I don't take computer-related correspondence for granted.
    beady-eyed wonder who is very nearly blind in her only "good" eye which is not suitable for cataract surgery.

  51. Ellie - Just a note to say I'm inclined to agree with the 'twinflower' i.d., though with proviso that the pic is/includes
    Linnaea borealis ssp. longiflora

    - now I'm here, I must congratulate Wouter on having managed such a succinct summary of my findings over these past five years - doubt I could have produced as neat a precis myself - well done Wouter and thanks for the many hours you must have put in to reading my very very lengthy analyses. So very pleased to find someone able and willing to put it to good use. Seriously.


  52. PSWouter - I should have said your theory "includes" my work because I don't agree that it's all medicinal (hence my discussion of perfumes & formulae for manufacture in India & Egypt). Nor do I agree the 'pharma' vessels are perfume bottles like those from modern Egypt, or that the 'bathing women' are literal figures.. so plenty of other people's views in your synthesis too.


  53. As always, having trouble sending a message here, I try again. Hello again Ellie. Hi Diana, I never read your stuff, sorry. So far, I have made a few real findings I believe have a good chance. The V for Maria, Jerusalem (and the T and O map there), and for the rest, I have not made any serious conclusions yet. I found them myself, maybe after others did. Also, a perfume theory was easily made after seeing some perfectly matching medieval Egyptian perfume bottles. I dont say I back up that theory myself yet. It was more like an idea.

  54. Since I am too lazy to really make a big effort like making a list of probable plants (my reverse strategy) I recommend antidotarium nicolai to check for plants and then look for a match in Voynich. Anise has a high probability I think, like 90%, if the plants are related to female medicin of those days.

    Kind regards Wouter

  55. So, to be short, what I see, is a manuscript of which Im not sure the text matches the pictures. And I think someone else coloured it later. Going from the pictures, which is all I can do, I see plants and/or their roots with descriptions, a part that seems to be about astrology, a map that seems for travelling, and some biological part, I think about medicin and recipies in general. If the text is related to the pictures, I basically would expect them to be about (female) medicin. Astrology would fit in there perfectly from historic point of view. So I would first check what they used in those days, and then find Voynich pictures to match them, rather than googling pictures that match the Voynich ones. :s xxx W

  56. Hi Wouter, I did check old herbals and medieval remedies and got few ideas from there. I like your idea about the 9-rosette being related to traveling - I feel the same way about it - some resettles look like tents.

    1. Dear Ellie,

      It is not about travelling. Anymore... It is about the summer and winter solstice, the spring and autumn equinox, the 4 elements, the 4 humors, the 4 liquids, the year, Jerusalem/earth/heaven in the middle, the 12 months (here 10 months?) and in between every main solar aspect there is a period of
      warm/dry/Mars/yellow bile,
      wet/dry/Saturn/black bile,
      wet/cold/moon/white flegma

      The T/O map is pointing east, east is on top, with Summer Solstice on top.

      All plants and cures are related. Compare 40v to 86v.

      This is how all the VMS should be understood.

      Despite the fact that the text may be added later and have nothing to do with the original meaning.

      Best regards Wouter

      Best regards Wouter

    2. Saturn cold dry of course

    3. I still wanna add, the silly alphabet you made of Voynich is sooo silly I can't express, and I can't even remotely call that scientific, although it seems to be generally accepted. That's just crazy!

      I will start my own blog soon, and help you tired people on your ways again. Sigh. And yes, I also still can't translate the text, but may I add, I only recently started focussing on the text, now that I know the meaning.


    4. But, since I cant wait, the 8 with the 9 attached is a Latin ligature for ...ti, and the r with the 9 is ...ri. And a cz with something on top could mean "est ". And what looks like an 8 could be an S, A, B, or G! And the 9 in front could mean con cum etc and a 9 on the end could mean "us "etc. So go figure!

    5. And last but not least, I would think of a clock-maker rather than an architect. Like Jan Sindel. See the clock in Prague. With the higly advanced knowledge in this book, you come pretty close to making a clock like that! My best guesses point to that direction.

      Because, as far as the astrological part is concerned, you have quite a year-based moon-calendar there, and I think this MS is not even half as stupid as we regard it to be.

      Ok now I really stop, hope this helped. (This was weeks of thorough online investigation) And dont forget the 4 elements on several pages, and the solar yearly circle. (I Rule, I Ruled, I am without kingdom, I shall rule)

      The reason I post it here, is because I like Ellie, and I am too busy too make my own blog.

      Best regards Wouter Lenten

    6. Ow and when I said clockmaker, I didnt mean he wrote this. I just think it may come from the same school. In my opinion, this is simply a medical book. With focus on women, which would not be strange for those days. Based on the 4 humors.

  57. Hi Ellie, I think I should explain about Jerusalem, I saw a picture from this period with the same curly decoration around Jerusalem on another "worldmap", depicting either the city or heaven, which was the same thing in those days. The curly similarity left out all doubt for me. Good that you check on those herbals etc. br W

  58. I can just copy paste a thing a was working on half a year ago, Im not sure...

    54v = Fresia
    95v = black currant
    96v = spekwortel? Dioscorea communis, basioniem: Tamus communis

    Maybe it helps?

    I dont even know what it means myself anymore lolz

  59. Another copy paste: (Of things I probably expected to be in Voynich)

    Polij (Mentha pulegium) (Labiatae of Lamiaceae)

    De pijpbloem (Aristolochia clematitis) (Aristolochiaceae)

    De holwortel (Corydalis cava) (Papaveraceae)

    Sint-janskruid (Hypericum perforatum) (Hypericaceae)

    Fenegriek (Trigonella foenum-graecum)

    Kaasjeskruid (Malva) (Malvaceae)

  60. I see you have made updates to your sites without crediting and in some cases mis crediting. thanks

  61. Hi, let me know what exactly needs crediting. Thanks


    Hi Ellie,

    This is a good link to find probable plants, including mostly Latin names.

    Best regards Wouter

  63. I think 4olor etc could mean dolore, meaning pain. Meaning the 4, mostly seen as a Q, is just a D. This is based on frequency of the word 4ollor in the VMS compared to the word dolore(s) in other similar manuscripts. That was my idea of the day ;) Br Wouter

  64. Centaurea solstitialis 42v

    This seems a plausible one, and it made me stumble upon this website:

    On this website it seems it it related to a date and a saint, saint Barnabas, 11 June.

    Also, the first letter in Voynich here could depict some solar solstice system, or a "meiboom".

    It is a website linked to pilgrims and stuff. And most is in Frysian language, but latin plant names included. But I noted that for most days there, there is a flower of the day. That seemed kinda interesting. Like holy flowers or plants.

    I checked some more but not enough to believe all Voynich plants are related to saints or days, but it is still interesting to compare plants from this website to the Voynich ones. Keep in mind that there are plants there of later age and American origin.

    Hope this brings new fun,

    Greetings Wouter

    Ps, If you dont understand crap about that website, just copy-paste some latin plant names in google pictures and compare to Voynich.

    Finally, about the plants location:

    This species is native to southern Europe (i.e. Ukraine, Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Yugoslavia, France and Spain), northern Africa (i.e. Algeria and Tunisia) and western Asia (i.e. Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, southern Russia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan).

  65. Hi, All:
    Here are a list of links to plant diagram interpretations. We used analysis of the lplant names as literal “coded hints,” as identified by others, along with Scripture, to reveal meaning. We recommend you read the Preface first, but then you can skip around to any folio.
    Russ and Lori


    f. 1v:

    f. 2r:

    f. 3r:

    f. 3v:

    f. 4v:

    f. 5r:

    f. 5v:

    f. 6r:

    f. 6v:

    f. 7r:

    f. 9r:

    f. 9v:

    f. 13r:

    f. 19r:

    f. 23r:

    f. 35r:

    f. 43r:

    f. 29r:

    f. 50r:

    f. 93r:

    1. Nice and useful, I am not convinced, but there could certainly be useful links here, thanks!


  66. One possible explanation. Concerns 94 r Moonfern.
    A superstition in the Alps montains says that a horseshoe would break as soon as it touches the fern. It is called in Switzerland : Déferra-tsao (déferre-cheval).

    It might explain the unusual "horse-shoe" form of the leaves ? Already in 2 colours, as if broken ?

  67. Folio 7r ???

  68. So to say my last word for tonight: I stopped my perfume trade theory, I stopped all other theories, it is only the common humor theory I follow now. So Salerno and trotula, like my first idea. I dont think any of the plants are American, many are symbolic because they knew the meaning of them, and also, most plants seem quite common to me. I think it could litterally be in Dutch, that would be fun haha! Well, Dutch Latin then of course. Next thing I will look into are Latin abbreviations to explain the texts. It will be a dry and warm period ruled by Mars. Sigh. See you much, much later! (Maybe I will give a few plants from my latest ideas)

  69. 6v Galium aparine
    9r Rheum rhabarbarum
    11r Achillea millefolium
    17r mentha pulegium
    38r could be Silybum marianum, because of the milk drops of Maria but Im not sure. Otherwise I had Barley for male furtility. But Yin nor Yang have anything to do with it!

    Just a few I found recently, enjoy all!

  70. Hi Ellie,

    I finally made my own blog, sigh... So I won't have to bother you again with my findings haha. I hope you will check it from time to time. I just started so not much on it yet.

    Best regards Wouter

  71. This comment has been removed by the author.

  72. voynich manuscript re find

  73. Hi Ellie,

    Havent been busy with the MS for a long time, my blog is also not evolving much lolz. Was just in a Voynich plants mood today, not much progress...

    For Fol. 21r - Common Knotgrass (Polygonum aviculare), which seems very plausable to me, I would like to add that it's known as female, related to Saturn and with element earth. Maybe it would be nice to try and associate more plants with sex, planets and elements, because I suspect this will be the case for all of them, and would be very curious about the results.

    Best regards Wouter

  74. In reversed approach (like mentioned before) I would like Artemisia absinthium to be in the MS. Possible match: 37r

    Br W

  75. Verbena Officinalis, possible match: 20r/22r

  76. So far I cannot find any logical link between the plants in the plant section. Not in terms of perfume trade, not in terms of planetary relation, not in terms of common most famous medicinal plants, not in terms of location, not in terms of most commonly used female medicinal plants, but I learned that the number of leaves in general could have a meaning, as well as the color, in religious sense. But again, I also dont find any true religious link in the plants section, for example plants being related to saints or days etc.

    I do keep in mind that red dots on leaves were related to blood of Jesus and white dots to the milk of Mary, but... From many other sources referring back to this MS I constantly get blocked in terms of logic. Because I think I understand 86v, I also think there must be some link between the plants with seasons, planets, sexes and elements.

    Some plants for example could only be picked in moonlight, while some others as we all know needed a dog to get the root out. So the picking time of the plants, the planets position, male/female, the seasons, the humors, somehow should all connect this MS in logic.

    I have a feeling that there are thousands of experts in the world that could shed a light on it, but simply dont know this MS exists.

    And then I have a last feeling I would like to share. The language is written by someone with an intelligent hand. The drawings are childish at least. I can feel this. I studied Chinese and can write Chinese characters quite accurately and good-looking. I can also draw good and accurate, I think that is logical, it would be weird to be able to write beautifully but draw awfully. That is why to my feeling, the MS is not consistent, meaning, I cant believe the one who wrote it is the same as the one who made the drawings. There is something manipulated about it, and I just cant put my finger on it. Conclusion: the MS total was made by more than one person.

    Br W

  77. Hello Ellie,
    I wonder if you can add a 'search' widget to your blog. I read your comment on the Voynich ninja forum about folio 17r, and came to see if you had changed your mind about your id recently. Alas - no way to find other references to "17r" and comment on the right post.

    About the 'eye of God' plant in one of those books of the alchemists' plants, I've looked up Grieves' list of vernacular terms, and find that there are Eye Bright, Eye Balm,Eye of Christ,Eye of the Day, and Eye Root.

    "Eye of Christ" is a name for Germander, or Speedwell (Veronica chamaedrus L.)

    "Eye Root" and "Eye Balm" are popular names for Golden Seal (Hydrastis Canadensis L.)also called Wild Curcuma, or Tumeric Root, and Ground raspberry etc.etc. etc. Trouble is that though the names are promising, the plant is native to Canada. :)

    I guess one might check the terms in Simon of Genoa's text, but I don't have a copy accessible at present.


  78. For 17v, I've been struggling to find a picture of Wild Buckwheat with red flowers or seeds... However, the drawing looks an awful lot like one I'm rather familiar with: Rumex acetosella (Sheep Sorrel), which has red seed-heads. The leaves are a similar shape, though elongated. However, 17v suggests a vine at the end, and Sheep Sorrel isn't viny. Is there a European variety that vines? :-)

  79. Hey Ellie,
    thank you for this blog. Nice endeavour :)

    I have a suggestion concerning the following plant:
    Fol. 16r - Hemp (Cannabis sativa) - id by Theodore Petersen
    It doesn't look like a female hemp plant. but like a male plant in bloom. (

    could also be a "Helleborus foetidus", it's unlikely but worth mentioning, because its a non-Archaeophyte unlike hemp in europe.

  80. thank you for this blog. Maybe you should to know Sue Sullivan, she thinks have recognize the language of the voynich manuscript.

  81. i think that the plant at page 16 (of the manuscript,not of pdf) is marijuana!

  82. I have been observing the images of the voynich manuscript and couldn't help to notice that near enough all of these plants depicted in the manuscript were used to either, boost sex drive, fertility, help with the pain of labour contractions as well as explanations on which plants or herbs to take in order to induce labour, and which ones to stay away from when pregnant or trying to conceive. Judging from the female pictures of woman bathing in the waters I noticed they all seem to have big round bellies as if they were pregnant. Plants such as poppy seed oil, castor oil, astropa balledonna, immortelle, mandrakes could all be taken to boost a woman's mood and fertility, whereas the plant known as st.john' Worth and cornflower plant can decrease fertility in both man and woman. Another clue as to this being a female ovulation diary to either fall pregnant or keep track of her pregnancy and expancy could be judged on the constellations and the pictures within this manuscript. It is a known fact that the moon have been linked to a woman's menstrual cycle and this book was probably created by a female to give a detailed description on what to take and what not to take when one wished to conceive a baby. As well as what plants and herbs will help with the pains and strains of contractions and even cures for infertility such as the plant depicted growing out of the fallopian tubes and ovaries of a woman which many mistake for an eyeball

  83. African woman still invoke the goddesses of fertility in order to fall pregnant, Most of these goddesses are associated with water as water is the giver of life as well as plant goddesses and spirits. This appears to be a magical book that describe various methods of creating either love potions, cures to infertility, plants and herbs to boost fertility, a solar cycle based on when to invoke these fertility goddesses and which plants and herbs to take to help with pregnancies, either to fall pregnant, cure fertility related diseases, keep track of your pregnancy, boost your moods and banish the baby blues and depression a lot of woman feel after giving birth. Most probably written up by a wise woman which would have been called a midwife, back in those days there were no pregnancy scans or pregnancy books and blogs on how to conceive, what to eat and what not to eat, Writing and drawing was the best method of learning, remembering and preserving their knowledge.

  84. Good day!
    There is a key to cipher the Voynich manuscript.
    The key to the cipher manuscript placed in the manuscript. It is placed throughout the text. Part of the key hints is placed on the sheet 14. With her help was able to translate a few dozen words that are completely relevant to the theme sections.
    The Voynich manuscript is not written with letters. It is written in signs. Characters replace the letters of the alphabet one of the ancient language. Moreover, in the text there are 2 levels of encryption. I figured out the key by which the first section could read the following words: hemp, wearing hemp; food, food (sheet 20 at the numbering on the Internet); to clean (gut), knowledge, perhaps the desire, to drink, sweet beverage (nectar), maturation (maturity), to consider, to believe (sheet 107); to drink; six; flourishing; increasing; intense; peas; sweet drink, nectar, etc. Is just the short words, 2-3 sign. To translate words with more than 2-3 characters requires knowledge of this ancient language. The fact that some symbols represent two letters. In the end, the word consisting of three characters can fit up to six letters. Three letters are superfluous. In the end, you need six characters to define the semantic word of three letters. Of course, without knowledge of this language make it very difficult even with a dictionary.
    If you are interested, I am ready to send more detailed information, including scans of pages showing the translated words.