The Voynich Question
- Possible Plant Identifications
in the Voynich Manuscript
- Dan Gibson Copyright April 2003
- All of these plants are presently
found growing in Nabataea.
- It is possible to view the Voynich Manuscript by
visiting this web page: http://www.voynichinfo.com/
Pyrethrum musili Velem.
Long stems with small short
hairy leaves attached, topped by a blue flower. Scented as asteraceous
Used by the Arabs as a medicinal tea for colds and headaches.
Cardaria draba (L.) Desv.
Annual or perennial herb with sometimes
rhizomatous rockstock and single stem branching above. Leaves
sessile, clasping the stem. White flower cluster atop step with
large leaves attached to the stem
Presently used by the local Arabs for animal feed
- Hairy Saltwort (Bassia muricata)
- Annual herb, 10-40 cm long,
with stems covered by soft dens hairs. Leaves 0.15 - 1.5 cm.
Flowuers minute in clusters along the stem, forming spiny appandages
at the sepals at maturity. Flower clusters placed intermittently
between the leaves
- Medicinal Use: Pound garlic in with the
leaves, boil in oil, and put on sores to heal them
A note about plant identifications. These pictures were taken
in my backyard, the day before we left Jordan for Canada. I had
only just discovered the Voynich Manuscript, and hadn't yet downloaded
all of the pages. However, I immediately identified several of
the plants as those that grew wild in the desert hills of Nabataea,
and which were also prized by the desert dwelling Bedouin. Most
of the people in my village (Abu Lissan) could not identify all
of the plants. Those, however, who had strong Bedouin heritage
(ie: grew up in the desert), knew the plants and their uses. In
looking through the plant illustrations in the pages that I had
downloaded of the Voynich Manuscript I found myself imagining
that the artist drew the illustrations from dried, pressed plants.
I immediately decided to dry and press my own specimens, and will
later compare them with the illustrations in the VMS.