Orchids illustrations – 15 century

Out: "Sunrise (Hortus) health ". Mainz 1491.

The "Hortus sanitatis" from the time of the cradle prints is next to the "Herbarius" (1484) and the "garden of health" (1485) one of the oldest works of medicine published in Germany. While the German-speaking so-called. "Small Garden" by 1485 a total of 382 Contains plants, werden im "garden health", the "Great Garden", already 530 Plants as well 392 Animals and 144 Minerals described.

Who rummages a little in the yellowed leaves, will find out, however, that especially in the animal representations, a lot of space was left to the imagination. Mythical creatures of all kinds, like dragons, Nixen, Sea monsters, winged horses etc., found space in it- So it's not surprising, that also with our representation of orchids, the only one in this plant, it is hardly possible to speak of a lifelike reproduction. Only the roots are reminiscent of orchid bulbs.

By the way, these were – especially in the herbal books of the following century – often touted as an aphrodisiac. So one made from them with various additives like goat's milk, Sparrows- and pigeon brain, Deer heat *, Muskat, Pfeffer, Salt and. a. Spices love potions and latwerges (a nature conservation law would certainly have been worthwhile at that time). But already with Valentini 1719 is it [called: "But if you look at the matter lightly, so the spice combines more of the spice and changes spicy things, so to be taken, her, than von der Stendel- Wurtz“ (Orchis).
* A hose fungus that grows underground, also called deer truffle (Elaphomyces).

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