Edith Sherwood Ph.D. and Erica Sherwood

The Voynich Botanical Plants

Folio 49r Back to Plant List
folio 49r

Folio 49r, Blue Nile Lotus (Nymphaea caerulea), the sacred narcotic flower of ancient Egypt, is actually a water lily. The plant's tuberous roots embed in mud at the bottom of ponds, the leaves float on the surface of the water, and the blue flowers rise above the water. The flower rises above the surface of the water in the morning, opens and closes, and then sinks again in the evenings. The ancient Egyptians equated the behaviour of this plant, with their sun god, Isis. According to the Odyssey, the Lotus Eaters were a happy, indolent people as a result of eating the lotus for its soporific and psychedelic effects. When Odysseus landed among them, some of his men ate their food. They forgot their friends and home and had to be dragged back to the ships. (The Lotus Shop)

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