Mandrake Root for Museum
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Susan Moody
Posted on: July 12, 2002

I am a long time Richters customer. I take care of the gardens at The Cloisters in New York City. I am working on creating a display in one of our sheds. Lately, I have purchased some of your dried products. I need some help in locating a dried specimen of MANDRAKE ROOT. Mandragora officinarum. I have located the powder, but not the entire root. Do you sell it, or have any idea where I could locate a root? I would like to display the dried root next to a copy of the woodcut illustration.

I don’t know where you can get a dried specimen of Mandragora officinarum. We have a few live plants in our collection but we cannot spare them because we are trying to increase them for eventual sale as plants or seeds.

It may be possible to acquire a specimen of a closely related species, Mandragora autumnalis which confusingly is also known as M. officinalis. As far as I know this species is not the same as M. officinarum, but, as it has a certain notoriety much like M. officinarum, I would suspect that it is near enough that you might be able to use it for your display.

It is not sure thing that we can get this plant, but we have a connection in an area of the Middle East where this plant grows wild and we may be able to acquire some roots for you, if you are interested.

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