Monday, 18 January 2016

Mandrake - Mandragora officinarum L. - Μανδραγόρας ο φαρμακευτικός, Καλάθρωπος, Μηλοπηπονιά - Cyprus

Mandragora officinarum or mandrake is the type species of the plant genus Mandragora. As of 2015, sources differ significantly in the species they use for Mandragora plants native to the Mediterranean region. In the narrowest circumscription, M. officinarum is limited to small areas of northern Italy and the coast of former Yugoslavia, and the main species found around the Mediterranean is called Mandragora autumnalis, the autumn mandrake. In a broader circumscription, all the plants native to the countries around the Mediterranean Sea are placed in M. officinarum, which thus includes M. autumnalis. The names autumn mandrake and Mediterranean mandrake are then used.[2] Whatever the circumscription, Mandragora officinarum is a perennial herbaceous plant with ovate leaves arranged in a rosette, a thick upright root, often branched, and bell-shaped flowers followed by yellow or orange berries.

Because mandrakes contain deliriant hallucinogenic tropane alkaloids and the shape of their roots often resembles human figures, they have been associated with a variety of superstitious practices throughout history. They have long been used in magic rituals, today also in contemporary pagan traditions such as Wicca and Odinism. However, the so-called "mandrakes" used in this way are not always species of Mandragora let alone Mandragora officinarum; for example, Bryonia alba, the English mandrake, is explicitly mentioned in some sources.
In the circumscription in which Mandragora officinarum is the only Mediterranean species, it is native to southern Portugal and countries around the Mediterranean sea: Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco in north Africa; southern Spain, Italy, former Yugoslavia, Greece and Cyprus in southern Europe; southern Turkey; Syria, Lebanon, Israel, the Palestinian territories and Jordan in the Levant. It is usually found in open habitats, such as light woodland and disturbed sites, including olive groves, fallow land, waysides, railway embankments and ruins, from sea level to 1,200 m (3,900 ft).
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

When Mandragora autumnalis is regarded as the main Mediterranean species, M. officinarum is native only to north Italy and part of the coast of former Yugoslavia. Alternatively, M. officinarum is absent from the Levant, where it is replaced by M. autumnalis.
Ο Μανδραγόρας είναι φυτό του γένους των δικοτυληδόνων της οικογένειας των σολανιδών. Περιλαμβάνει λίγα είδη πολυετών ποοδών φυτών με τοξικές και φαρμακευτικές ιδιότητες, ιθαγενή των παραμεσογείων περιοχών. Στην Ελλάδα βρίσκεται σε περιοχές της Θεσσαλίας της Πελοποννήσου στη Στερεά και στα νησιά του Αιγαίου, όπου είναι γνωστά με διάφορες κοινές ονομασίες, όπως καλάνθρωπος, αρκάνθρωπος, μανδραγούδα, αβγουδάτσα μεγαλοβοτάνι και άλλες.
Από τη Βικιπαίδεια, την ελεύθερη εγκυκλοπαίδεια

Photos Liopetri 16/1/2016 by George Konstantinou