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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:

Pyrethrum musili Velem.



Long stems with small short hairy leaves attached, topped by a blue flower. Scented as asteraceous perennial.

Used by the Arabs as a medicinal tea for colds and headaches.




Hoary Pepperwort

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) (L.) Ascherson
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.

The Amazing Ancients The Voynich Question
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The Flat Earth Myth Voynich:  Physical Composition of the Manuscript
Megaliths Voynich: History of the Voynich Manuscript
Stonehenge Voynich:  The Layout of the Manuscript
Atlantis Voynich: The Text, Language and Illustrations
Ancient Time Piece Voynich: A Possible Middle Eastern Connection
Bahrain Voynich: Plants found in Nabataea
Zimbawe Who Discovered the New World?
Ancient Pueblo Dwellers Saharah Desert's Changing Climate