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Phytomorph and Geomorph Identification

  • Arthur O. Tucker
  • Jules Janick
Chapter
Part of the Fascinating Life Sciences book series (FLS)

Abstract

The Voynich Codex is largely an herbal with an estimated 359 illustrations of plants (phytomorphs) in the Herbal and Pharmaceutical sections. In 1944, the distinguished botanical taxonomist Hugh O’Neill identified New World plants in the Voynich Codex, including the sunflower and capsicum pepper. In 2013, Arthur O. Tucker and Rexford H. Talbert identified 37 plants indigenous to colonial New Spain. Later, in 2016, Tucker and Jules Janick expanded this to 58 phytomorphs and 55 species. Identifications here include 60 phytomorphs and 57 species, all indigenous to colonial New Spain or circumboreal. No European plants have been identified. Many were medicinal plants. The geomorph boleite was identified. Although boleite was found in many locations, the only examples of crystals of this quality were primarily from Baja California. We conclude that the Voynich Codex must be a post-Columbian manuscript written in colonial New Spain in the sixteenth century.

Keywords

Boleite Capsicum pepper Geomorphs New World plants Phytomorphs Sunflower Taxonomy Voynich 

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Agriculture & Natural ResourcesDelaware State UniversityDoverUSA
  2. 2.Department of Horticulture & Landscape ArchitecturePurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

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