Voynich plant 4v

Can you help us to identify this plant and also decode the name?

ImageText
Click here to see the original page.Click here to see the original page.
Possible name (first word): ? ? A A U R

Step 1: Look at the Voynich plant picture above. Look also at the possible name of that plant from the same page.

Step 2:  Look at some other expert suggestions, below, for what this plant might be. Some are borrowed from here.

E VoynichPetersonSherwoodVelinskaBiologist - Finland
Ipomea? Scammonia?Cobvulvula ipomea?Rampion (Campanula rapunculus)Clematis, or Clematis integrifoliaPolemonium sp.

Step 3: If you have any good suggestions for the plant, please post a comment below. Give the Latin genus and species name if you can.

Step 4: Can you suggest a name in any language which might resemble the Voynich word? If so, post a comment below.

In particular can you suggest a name from any language which might fit the Voynich text?

Thanks

21 Comments

  1. someone

    This to me looks like campanula medium.

    Closest word I could find with google translate was in Tadjik language: Акбарпур (Akbarpur)

    The first year the plant forms a “rosette of leaves” (the starry shape?) and the 2nd year, the plant grows a long stem (up to 70cm or 27inch) with bell shaped flowers. It has small leaves and the flowers come in many colors: white, pink, light blue, dark blue, …

    According to wikipedia, the plant originated in italy and south-east of france.

  2. Gentiana pneumonanthe

  3. Derek Vogt

    In my phonetic system, the first word on this page is ^bhãa—^, or possibly ^bhẽe—^. (The same Voynichese letter that usually correlates with /a/ in other languages also correlates with /e/ a significant minority of the time, and often correlates with not just the vowel but the vowel followed by /r/ or /L/, which I indicate with a tilde.)

    The plant name website I’ve been using shows no helpful names for Clematis, but I do think I’ve found cognates on the page for Ipomoea. Some species in that genus are called “morning glories” in English, but the word “spinach” also shows up fifteen times on that page, preceded by different modifiers to narrow it down from genus level to species level. Some names of the species Ipomoea aquatica (English “water spinach”) are…

    in Punjabi: bel (nali bel)
    in Gujarati: bhaji (nali ni bhaji)
    in Marathi: bhaj (nali chi bhaj)

    The B-word in each one means “leafy vegetable” or “greens” or such, which acts the same as English “spinach” in these plants’ names. The other words just specify which kind of bel/bhaj/bhaji it is, like “water” in English “water spinach”.

    Right now, you might be thinking that the stringy little leaves in the Voynich plant’s drawing are nothing like a spinach. But single-word plant names normally apply to not one species but multiple, typically a genus, and this genus’s Wikipedia page includes a list of too many species to pick from right now, some of which do have leaves that are so deeply lobed that the lobes do get long & stringy like that. You can see an exampe if you do an image search for “Ipomoea barbatisepala”, but that species is only native to North America, so the one the Voynich author knew must have been one or more of those dozens of other species.

  4. Looks a ( Gentiana pneumonanthe ) old medicplant

  5. Philip

    I do not know the species but I can tell what the text says. It says that “the plant has not been very benificial as a medicine and has been used to treat rash (redness)”, I refer you to my recent post on se below, for explanation as to how I know this.
    http://voynichthoughts.wordpress.com/your-solution-here/?contact-form-id=650&contact-form-sent=868&_wpnonce=b0059820e2

  6. Fabian Roth

    For me this looks a lot like some plant from the Gentiana family
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gentiana

    Some species from this family (especially Gentiana acaulis) look a lot like the illustration to me.
    Examples of Gentiana acaulis: http://plantgenera.org/ILLUSTRATIONS_thumbnails/159059.jpg
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/56/Gentiana_acaulis_Atlas_Alpenflora.jpg

    Different species from the Gentiana family are long known medicinal plants in the Alps and Scandinavia, where they are still used in liquors.
    Unfortunately i only speak german and a bit english so i can’t realy help with the plant’s name in other languages but i noticed from different german dialects and scandinavian terms that the names often refer either to the extreme bitterness of the plant or as kind of a mocking to its “sweetness”

    I hope it might helps and maybe somebody can find out more about the names for this plant in other languages.
    greetings FR

  7. Frank Fielder

    I think Finland Biologist nailed it. Looks like Polemonium caeruleum to me. See photographs on Wikipedia page for this plant under “Sources”. Thank you.

  8. Caroline

    Here’s a photo that supports the Clematis suggestion. I don’t know which Clematis this is. You can see the up-ended bell-shaped flower and the starry post-bloom seed pods. I’m not sure about the foliage. But then again I’m not sure the Voynich author ever set eyes on a plant 🙂

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/harborlit/13542804974/

  9. Ellie Velinska

    Thanks for linking to my plant id list. I would like to clarify that Clematis was first proposed by Diane O’Donovan – she also noted that the root of the drawing may represent distillery equipment used to produce perfumes – I like her idea. Clematis Integrifolia was proposed by Steve D – I like his id, because it explains the stars in the drawing and this is why I included Diane’s and Steve’s proposals on my list. Thanks and good luck in your research.

    [Ellie – can you explain about the stars??- Stephen]

    • Stephen Bax

      Thanks for your clarification – yes I appreciate the fact that the identifications on your site are often assisted by others!

      Thanks also for the interesting point about the roots and the stars – I didn’t know that. It certainly gives extra weight to the identification.

    • Neticis

      Clematis in ru: ломонос, лозинка (lomonos, lozinka), Armenian: Գաղտնաբառերի [Gaghtnabarreri]

      • Stephen Bax

        Thanks Neticis – does anyone know the background of the Armenian word? Especially the ending ‘…barreri’?

        • Neticis

          Surprisingly it is compound word of following:
          Գաղտնա [Gaġtna] — secret
          բառերի [baṙeri] — words (բառ [baṙ] — word)

    • Jan M

      Yes, it may look like Clematis too – it is blue, the flower nearly has the shape; although I haven’t seen any image with the shape so closed. I don’t see the stars in any photo, but yes, the star drawing might depict flower during another time of the year.

      So, let’s look at translations:
      arabic: ظيان (zyan)
      hebrew: זלזלת (zlzlt)
      armenian: Մամրիչ (mamrich)
      turkish: akasma , yabanasması [ bot .], meryemasması , klemetis

      I have no idea. It doesn’t match to ?-A-A-UR. Maybe ossetic or some other language will fit, I just failed to find translation. But the bellflower ([Z?]AngAUR) convinced me more. It is up to you, I don’t take anything personally 🙂

      • Stephen Bax

        Thanks Jan – this is exactly what this page is for, to exchange ideas, so thanks very much for your contributions!

        One thing I would now like to do is find examples of mediaeval plant images of Clematis and other possible candidates, which could help us to be sure, and also give us contemporary names.

        Here is one from 1788, but any earlier? (It is from this page)

      • Jan,
        To clarify – my identification isn’t based just on “looks-like” comparison but is a conclusion reached after detailed analysis of the image, its construction, mnemonic elements and so forth within the context of thirty or forty other folios’ analysis.

        And the clematis species (pl.) which I identified were the scented, narrow-leafed eastern clematis, the European having broader leaves and flat flowers.

      • Derek Vogt

        Hebrew זלזלת “zlzlt” isn’t too far off from the fifth and sixth words, which are at least still in the first line and don’t occur elsewhere in the manuscript: ^tãst$ tsãt^. I guess I didn’t notice at first because the last time I looked at this folio might have been before I had noticed how often ^a^ correlates with “al” in other languages (which I represent since then with the tilde), or that ^s^ seems to be the most common substitute for foreign “z”. (talzt$ tzalt)

    • Ellie,
      I’ve just noticed this comment. More than seeing my work mentioned, I’m delighted to see that scholarly ethics isn’t as ‘old-fashioned’ as I feared.

  10. Jan M

    Campanula / bellflower is the best bet to me. Shape and colour of the corolla is typical; also drawn are distinct spiky parts (sorry, I am not a botanist, I don’t know proper terms in my native language either) below and above the corolla, just compare with this.

    But the name is problematic. Text looks like PXAAUR. Translations to near easter languages (if I can believe Wikipedia) give me:

    arabic: (jrys) جريس
    hebrew: (p’emvnyt; sounds ancient egyptian to me) פעמונית
    turkish: Çan çiçeği (probably derived from the sound of bell)
    armenian: զանգակ (zangak; probably related to osetian, but also similar to turkish)
    osetian: Дзæнгæрæгой (dzangaragoi)

    Even further in the text I can’t found anything similar. So maybe it isn’t bellflower. Probably we have to look at herbs that have medicinal uses or are toxic… Another possibility is that there may be hidden nasal between A vowels; but it still doesn’t match the beginning. It is also possible that the first glyph isn’t P, but Z or something else, or that PX is some sort of orthographic digraph (then it would be ZANGAUR), but this is just guessing, not a serious science :/

  11. Neticis

    Ipomea http://translate.google.com/#ru/hy/%D0%B8%D0%BF%D0%BE%D0%BC%D0%B5%D1%8F hy: առավոտ, փառքը [arravot , p’arrk’y] (morning fame)

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