Bunch-flowered Narcissus, Poet's Narcissus, f. 59r
“Its leaves are like the leek’s: they are slender, although they are much smaller and narrower. Its stem is hollow and leafless and grows longer than a span. Its flower is white, yellow on the inside and in some cases reddish. The root is shaped like an onion, round and white on the inside. Its seed is blackish and elongated, as if enclosed in a membrane.
The finest flower grows in the mountains and emanates a sweet scent; all of the other ones smell like grass or leek. Its boiled root, when eaten or drunk, causes vomiting. When crushed with a little honey and plastered, it is good to treat fire burns. Used as a poultice it mends nerve cuts and, if some honey is added to the poultice, it is also good for ankle sprains and long-lasting joint pains. When mixed with vinegar and nettle seed, it reduces freckles and white stains of the skin. When mixed with honey and ervil, it cleanses ulcers and it opens abscesses that are slow to ripen. When applied as a poultice with ryegrass flour and honey, it expels splinters trapped under the skin.
There is also another variety of narcissus, which grows in high mountain meadows. The leaves of this second variety are similar to those of the first one, but whiter. The stem is also like the other one, hollow, long, slender and smooth; on its upper part, it grows a single flower that hangs slightly, like the other one. This flower is as large as a musk rose, but whiter; it has six petals and a small chalice, which is wider and flatter than the other one, with a red edge. In the middle of it, there are three little beads, which are also yellow, the size of a hemp seed.
Its root is shaped like an onion, blackish on the outside and white on the inside. Its flower is very fragrant and emanates a sweet scent, like jasmine, although it is more pleasant. The whole plant has only one stem with one flower.
Gaspare Marchetto from Rocca Contrada and I came across it for the first time on the mountain of Sassoferrato and then on the mountain of Sigillo in May 1557. It blooms from April to mid-May.”
Mattioli’s Dioscorides illustrated by Cibo, f. 58v
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