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

Mattioli’s Dioscorides illustrated by Cibo (Discorsi by Mattioli and Cibo) Thyme broomrape (Orobanche alba Stephan ex Willd.), f. 70r

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Thyme broomrape (Orobanche alba Stephan ex Willd.), f. 70r

The orobanche is a shoot a foot-and-a-half tall, sometimes more, reddish, hairy, soft, fat and without leaves; it bears a whitish-red flower. Its root is one finger thick and decays completely when the stem dries up. It grows among legume plants, choking them, and takes its name from this effect. It is eaten both raw and cooked, like asparagus. It is believed that by adding it to legumes when cooking, it makes them cook more quickly (f. 69v).

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