Mattioli’s Dioscorides illustrated by Cibo (Discorsi by Mattioli and Cibo)

Azucena roja (Lilium bulbiferum), ff. 79v-80r

Tiger Lily (Lilium bulbiferum) ff. 79v-80r

"The tiger lily has leaves and a stalk like the lily, and green like those of the leek; it bears three or four flowers, each with its own stalk, divided like those of the other lily and very pale at the time when they are beginning to open. The root is large and bulbous and, pounded and drunk or put in wool in suppositories, it expels the fluid collected in a woman’s uterus and the menstrual blood. Its pounded leaves relieve inflammation of the nipples after childbirth and also inflammation of the eyes. The leaves, and so too the roots, are applied to burns with good effect." (f. 79v)
This plant grows in wet mountain grasslands almost everywhere in Italy, France and central Europe. The bulblets growing from the axils of its leaves are propagules that break off to form new seedlings genetically identical to their parents. It has large, reddish flowers and is grown as an ornamental plant in gardening and floristry. The related species Lilium candidum or white lily is one of the oldest known cultivated plants: it appears in Minoan art. It is also the most aromatic species of this genus, which has more than 100 species found across Asia.

Ramón Morales Valverde
eal Jardín Botánico de Madrid
(Extract from the commentary volume of Mattioli's Dioscorides illustrated by Cibo)

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