Edith Sherwood Ph.D. and Erica Sherwood

The Voynich Botanical Plants

Folio 95r Back to Plant List
folio 95r

Folio 95r, Elderberry (Sambucus nigra), is a small deciduous tree native to most of the Northern hemisphere. In the summer the tree has masses of flat-topped white flower heads. The leaves are arranged in opposite pairs of five to seven odd pinnate leaflets with serrated edges. Drooping clusters of black berries ripen in the late fall. (The berries shown in Folio 95r are colorless, this may be due to the author having, on occasion, an inadequate supply of different colored “paints.”) The berries are used to make jams and wine. Italian peasants still construct a simple wind instrument from the hollow branches. Pliny the Elder (23–79) wrote that boys made pop-guns and whistles from the branches of this tree.

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