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Acedula, hoc nomen multis herbis attributum est in diversis regionibus, nam acetosa sic vocatur. Et aliam sic vocari vidi, et illa que aleluya dicitur, et Macer semper vivam sic nominavit. Tandem omnis herba acetosi saporis etiam sic vocari potest, sed proprie de acetosa dici reor de qua infra.


Acedula ABCD ef | Cedula H

attributum ACDH f | atributũ B e

in ABCD ef | ni H

acetosa ACDH f | accetosa B e

illam f | illa ABCDH e

aleluya ACD | aleluia B | alleluia H ef

acetosi ACDH f | accetosi B e

de acetosa ACDH f | de accetosa B e

dici reor ABCDH e | dicitur f

infra ABCDH e | infra dicitur f


Acedula {i.e. "little sour tasting one"}, this name is given to many herbs in different parts of the world, also the plant called acetosa {i.e. "the strongly sour tasting one"} is so called. But I also saw another plant called by that name, and the one that is called aleluya; and Macer Floridus gave that name to semperviva. In the end every herb with a sour taste can be called that, but I think it is properly said of the acetosa, about which see the appropriate entry.


Acedula/ Acidula is derived from acidus "sour, acid; harsh, rough" and refers to the "sour" taste of the plant. There are a great number of variant forms of this name found in the literature, cf. Hunt (1989) below.

Acetosa is derived from acetosus orig. of wine made from immature grapes, "vinegarish; sour".

Alleluia, the motivation for the plant being called by that name is uncertain, but cf. Turner (1562: II. 171 [482]) in his Herbal: "Oxys {i.e. Oxalis acetosella L.} … is ye herbe whiche is called in English Alleluya/ because it appereth about Easter when Alleluya is song agayn."

Simon also refers to Macer Floridus: ed. Choulant (1832: 57): XVIII. ACIDULA.

711: Dicimus Acidulam, quam Graecus dicit Aizon;

712: Sic dici credunt, sapor illi quod sit aceti.

711: "We say Acidula, but a Greek calls it Aizon"; 712: "It is thought it was given the name, because the plant has the taste of vinegar."

Botanical identification:

Cf. Hunt (1989: 5): Acidula [acedula, acridula, assedella, acerdula, acedola, acedilla] Rumex acetosa L./ R. acetosella L. "common sorrel; sheep's sorrel"; Oxalis acetosella L. "wood sorrel".

Hunt (1989: 4): Acetosa Rumex acetosa L.; R. acetosella L. "common sorrel; sheep's sorrel"; Oxalis acetosella L. "wood sorrel".

Hunt (1989: 16): Alleluia Oxalis acetosella L. "wood sorrel".

Aizon reflects Greek ἀείζῳον /aeízōon/, lit. "ever-living, ever-lasting"; it was calqued into Latin as sempervivum. It is generally identified with the "common house-leek" or "Jove's beard" Sempervivum tectorum L. or some Sedum species.

Choulant (1832: 57) in Macer Floridus comments on the name of the plants: Acedula, accidula. Aiozon, ayzon, aiçon, aizoum, aizoon, aoxon, ozion. Vario modo leguntur haec nomina in codd. et edd. antiquis. … - "These plant names are read in many variant forms in the codices and the older editions".

Macer's statement that Acidula is the same as Greek Aizon differs from the usual botanical identifications, where members of the Rumex and Oxalis genera are suggested. But Simon's statement "that any plant with a sour taste can be given that name" applies here as well: the leaves of members of the genus Sedum {"Stonecrop"} were also often eaten in salads, e.g. Sedum reflexum L. {"rock stonecrop"}, and Sedum acre {"stonecrop, wall pepper"}, because of their sour or acrid taste. This fact must have been the reason for Macer's equating of Acidula with Greek Aizon.

See also: Acetosa, Ayzon, Iovis barba

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