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Malvaviscus a multis altea dicitur et Macer agrestem malvam vocat.


In mss. efp the text of this entry is appended to the text of the entry Malva.
{Malvaviscus} a | ab ms. j
althea B fp | altea AC ej
agrestem malvam | m.a. f
uocat | vocant (-cãt C) AC


Malvaviscus is called altea by many and Macer calls it agrestis malva {i.e. "wild mallow"}.

Commentary and botanical remarks:

Simon quotes Macer Floridus, 9, ed. Choulant (1832: 43). ALTHAEA [[1]]
366: Althaeam malvae speciem
368: Hanc {sc. althaeam} ipsam dicunt Eviscum, quod quasi visco
369: Illius radix contrita madere videtur
"Althaea is a kind of malva ….// This plant is also called eviscus, because it is similar to viscus {"birdlime"}// its root appears to drip when pounded".

Malvaviscus is a combination of malva + (e)viscus. It occurs first in Isidore of Seville’s Etymologiae, book XVII, De rebus rusticis, section: de herbis aromaticis ix,75 [[2]]: Althaea malva agrestis, sive malvaviscus sed althaea, quod in altum surgit, … "Althea, the wild malva {"mallow"} is also called malvaviscus..."

According to André (1981: 205) - liber XVII of the Etymologiae - Eviscus was seen as related to viscum/ viscus "mistletoe; birdlime made of mistletoe" because it has a glutinous root, and to distinguish it from other malvae {"mallows"} it was given the epithet malva eviscus > malvaviscus, and in that form it joined other synonyms of Althae officinalis L., "common marshmallow", like the above-mentioned malva agrestis, and others like malva silvatica {lit. "wood mallow"} or malva asinina {lit. "donkey’s mallow"}.

WilfGunther (talk) 10:06, 29 September 2015 (BST)

See also: Althea, Malva, Eviscus

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