From Simon Online
Jump to: navigation, search

Natrix Plinius est herba cuius radix evulsa virus irci redolet.


irci AC | yrci fp | yrei B {'c misread as 'e'} | ita ms. e

et cetera add. B p


Natrix, according to Pliny, is a herb whose root, when pulled up, is redolent of the smell of a he-goat.


This is a direct quote from Pliny, 17, 83, 107, ed. Rackham (1938-63: VII.454).

Botanical identification:

Natrix is often identified with a member of the genus Ononis [[1]], other authors less cautiously pin it down to Ononis natrix L. "large yellow or shrubby restharrow" [[2]], [[3]], [[4]], [[5]]. This plant, which has a wide southern and central European and Mediterranean distribution, is however absent from Britain. Natrix means literally "water-snake" and is here thought to refer to the plant's creeping rhizome. As for the plant's odour, the Encyclopaedia Londinensis, or, Universal dictionary of arts, sciences, and literature, 1820, Volume 17, p. 496, entry Ononis natrix, remarks: "This is a very strong smelling plant, with the odour of Theriaca, and not very clammy. ... The whole plant is viscid, and has a resinous smell." [[6]]

WilfGunther 27/12/13

Next entry