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Gallidragam Plinius sic vocat Xenocrates plantam leucacanto similem palustrem et spinosam et caule ferulaceo alto cui summo capite inheret simile ovo, in hoc crescente estate vermiculos nasci tradit et cetera.


Gallidragam | Galidragã B
xenocrates ABC ep | xenoctes j | pencotores f
leucacanto B ep | leucacantem f | leucacanton AC | leucatãto j | leucacantho Pliny
palustrem | palusirẽ A {'t' misread as 'i'} | om. f
{spinosam} et add. AC
caule | caulem ms. e
ferulaceo ABC j | ferrulaceo f | ferulateo ep {'c' misread as 't'}
alto om. j
summo | sumo f
capite | capiti f
crescente B efjp Pliny | arescente AC {'c' misread as 'a'}
estate AC | etate B efjp | aestate Pliny
nasci | vasa ms. e
tradit B ejp Pliny | traddit f | tradidit AC


Gallidraga: Pliny says: this is what Xenocrates calls a plant that is similar to leucacanthus, a prickly plant that grows on marshy ground, and it has a tallish stalk resembling ferula {"giant fennel"} and to this stalk, on top, clings a head in shape similar to an egg. When this head grows in the summer it is said that little worms develop in it.


This is a near-verbatim quote from Pliny, 27, 62, 89, ed. Rackham (1938-63: VII.442).

For Xenocrates see [[1]].

the word, of obscure etymology, is only attested in Pliny, whose source is Xenocrates of Aphrodisias of whose writings very little has survived.

< Greek λευκάκανθα /leukákantha/ < λευκ- /leuk-/ {"white"} + άκανθα /ákantha/ "a thorn, prickle; any thorny or prickly plant" (Lewis & Short, 1879). For further information see Leucanta, Leucanton.

For ferula see entry Ferula.

Botanical identification:

Most authors, e.g. Lewis & Short (1879), Pliny, Jones (1938-63: VII.510); André (1985: 109), agree that it is possibly Dipsacus pilosus L., "small teasel" [[2]], [[3]] [[4]].

WilfGunther 18:17, 26 October 2014 (UTC)

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