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Mandrake

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Mandrake

1. (Science: botany) a low plant (mandragora officinarum) of the nightshade family, having a fleshy root, often forked, and supposed to resemble a man. It was therefore supposed to have animal life, and to cry out when pulled up. All parts of the plant are strongly narcotic. It is found in the mediterranean region. And shrieks like mandrakes, torn out of the earth, That living mortals, hearing them, run mad. (Shak)

The mandrake of Scripture was perhaps the same plant, but proof is wanting.

2. (Science: botany) The may apple (podophyllum peltatum). See may apple under May, and podophyllum.

Origin: as. Mandragora, L. Mandragoras, fr. Gr., cf. F. Mandragore.