Hey there, Internet!
Long time no plant post, huh? Last was Seeds and new plants back in March when I told you about the seeds I planted a few weeks earlier. Those moved to bigger pots already and are doing great. Amongst them probably is one plant that has a slightly more intense mystical background than the others have. Talking about my Mandragora off. V. Autumnalis, Mandrake here.
Biological background: While as today most people might know those screaming Mandrakes from the Harry Potter movies it is a plant that has been used as medicine and for witchcraft for hundreds of years. They are categorized as Solanaceae, related to tomatoes or peppers. The roots in ancient documents are shown in human (male or female) shape and with its long, branched shape it indeed does resemble somehow. The different species do differ in size and color of leaves and petals
Mystical aspects: Probably everyone remembers the screaming mandrakes from the Harry Potter movies but it is a plant that was said to be a strong medicinal herb that would prefer to grow close to galow spots and that you would die if you would pick it with your own hands. That’s the reason why often dogs were used for picking, one end of a rope bound to their tales, the other end to the mandrake. It also is said that the mandrake helped witches to fly – but don’t worry if you happen to find a bottle of the amazing mandrake liqueur, so far I didn’t experience any of my guests flying around my flat after a glass.
Medical aspects: Besides the belief of helping witches to fly Mandrakes were also used as medicine for rheumatic and other painful diseases. The juice of the roots was used as some kind of anesthetics or to cure possession, it indeed does have narcotic and hallucigenic agents. And tinctures are still used until today but yes, Mandrakes are poisonous.
My Mandrake: I am planning to grow both, the v. autumnalis and the original, spring blooming one but started with v. autumnalis, it might not grow as fast as my herbs do, for the first few months I even thought it was not going to grow at all. By the way, the pot in direct sunlight shows as much growth as the pot in part shadow. I also am not sure if it will be used for anything besides looking beautiful in the end but I am happy to have this finally growing and am looking forwards to next year when the spring growing Mandragora off. will join my family of plants! By the way, anyone else who thinks the first leaves of a plant coming through the soil looks similar to the lovely zombie movies when they crawl with their hands out of their graves?
Any interesting gardening things happening right now? And who else is already preparing for the next year? Have a nice evening!