Most certain plant ID's?

Yes, agreed, and almost identifiable down to the species level (probably C. jacea)

Quote:Tragopogon for f65v, there Rene's list gives chamomile among others. Maybe it's not so clear?

I don't agree at all with chamomile. Chamomile has very distinctive feathery leaves that are not found on the VMS drawing and even crude medieval illustrations of chamomile are usually recogniable. It's a good drawing of Tragopogon, the leaves are exactly right, including the shape and attachments to the stalk and it includes both the flower and the seedheads (the puffy ones). Chamomile just doesn't look like this. It's very recognizable as Tragopogon.

Quote:For Cannabis/hemp, do you mean f16r?

Yes, I really don't have much doubt about it. One of the most distinctive things about Cannabis is the way the leaflets poke out from the florets. There are other plants that have this, but they don't have leaves like this. The only other plant that's really similar is Agnus-Castus but it does not have leaflets coming out from the flower spikes and the spikes tend to be longer (and it's big enough to look like a tree).

Quote:Cuscuta/dodder for f49r: seems reasonable to me, I'll include it unless there are objections.

Some people disagreed with me on this one, but I think it's a reasonable ID and even though I have a few alternatives, I can't think of a better one that explains the plant and the way the root is drawn.

Quote:Castor oil seems almost certain to me, especially since I saw its image in the Trinity herbal. Also general agreement in Rene's list.

I don't have much doubt about this one either. It's a distinctive plant and reasonably well drawn. There's some chance it might be chestnut, but it's drawn as a shrub rather than a tree, so I think Ricinus is more likely.

Quote:Althaea: which folio is this again? I can't find it or marsh-mallow in Rene's list.

f18v. There are a few reasons why I think this is althaea/malva. The fan-shaped leaves are right and the five distinctive red pistils are very characteristic of plants in the Hibiscus family. Also, as the petals fall away in the fall, the fancy textures near the calyx become more visible.

Quote:thyme and portulaca: which ones are those?

There is a group of viny ground shrubs that are quite similar to each other (in real life and in the VMS drawings) and which are difficult to tell apart in most herbal illustrations (and sometimes in life). They include the plants we know as rosemary and thyme (especially the viny version of thyme), portulaca, and some of the Polygonia. In the VMS, we see 4r, 20r, 21r, and 45v. The illustrator has been quite careful about the stalk arrangement, leaf shape, leaf color, and the placement of the blossoms.

Quote:For You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view. they give Smilax, Tamus communis (= Dioscorea communis, black bryony). Especially the latter seems like a decent possibility as well?

Yes, I think it's possible.

Quote:Spigelia seems like a very good match for the leaves of f15v, but isn't this an American plant? Also, the VM plant has one large flower bud from which two protrusions emerge, this seems different than the many flowers of Spigelia (although the appearance is similar).

Yes, it's primarily a South American plant. Some species of Spigelia have two flower stalks that look like antennae on a bug. The west Indies variety often has two or three flower stalks. I felt I should include it on the list because it's such a good match. Mercurialis is another possibility but it doesn't match quite as well (the leaves are not quite whorled like Spigelia, but it also has long tassels). Some varieties of May lily (Malanthemum) also match this quite well. I am not completely confident that the "mouth" part is naturalistic. If it is, then I'm not sure which plant it is.

Quote:Your You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view. agrees with Rene's list, I'll add it. You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view. malva: seems like a decent match, I'll add it until someone shoots it down
They are giving a ton of possibilities for You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view. , all apparently based on the shape of the leaf (like mint).

I'm pretty sure I'm the only one who's suggested this, but the illustrator has emphasized the nectar glands and I only know two kinds of plants that have this in such a way that it would inspire a person to draw them like 25r, the cherry-tree family (cherries and plums) have nectar glands to draw insects away from the fruits, and some species of Impatiens have very distinctive long red protrusions (sometimes longer than this picture). Both of them have leaves shaped like the VMS drawing. Mint plants do not have nectar glands. The red things are not flowers.


Quote:for You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view. Rene's list contains prunella vulgaris as well but also mint. If you look through the green paint, you see that the leaves are actually slightly serrated. Maybe more like mint? Although upon closer inspection slightly lobed edges are more like prunella after all.

What is distinctive about Prunella and sets it apart from the many mint plants that also look like 32r is the way the flower cluster is shaped AND (once again this impresses me about the VMS drawings), the particular curvy way the stalks grow. This is a distinctive feature of Prunella and why I'm leaning toward it. Even modern illustrators don't always perceive and capture this characteristic, but here are a couple of more recent drawings where they got it right:


Marrubium and Wood betony are other possibilities, but betony leaves are more deltate than elliptical. The 32r drawing really is more like 16th and 17th century drawings than early 15th century, but I think that's because the person was familiar with the actual plant. I'm not 100% tied to an ID of Prunella, but it's a darned good resemblance.
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