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, mandragora
1. a Eurasian solanaceous plant, Mandragora officinarum, with purplish flowers and a forked root. It was formerly thought to have magic powers and a narcotic was prepared from its root
2. another name for the May apple



a genus of plants of the family Solanaceae. They are perennial stemless or short-stemmed herbs with thick, straight roots that sometimes resemble human figures (for this reason, in ancient times these plants were said to have magical powers, and numerous legends were associated with them). The large entire leaves measure up to 80 cm long and are gathered in dense rosettes. The flowers, which are solitary and five-parted, are greenish white, light blue, or violet. The fruit is a large orange or yellow berry. There are five or six species, distributed in the Mediterranean region, Southwest and Middle Asia, and the Himalayas. One species, Mandragora turcomanica, is found in the USSR, in the western Kopetdag. The roots, fruits, and seeds of mandrake (M. officinarum) and M. autumnalis contain several alkaloids, including hyoscyamine and scopolamine, which are sometimes used as pain-killers.

References in periodicals archive ?
Pain relief and sedation in Roman Byzantine texts: Mandragoras officinarum, Hyoscyamus niger and Atropa belladonna, 43-50.
He also relates the rituals and folk-beliefs associated with the gathering of mandragora.
The full-color art is cartoonish, but lovingly detailed; Sfar does an excellent job of populating her world with a variety of bizarre, outlandish creatures such as golems, mandragoras, tree-men, ghosts, shades, goat-creatures, witches and putty monsters.