Linnaean Folklore Rediscovered.

Gerard Cheshire's picture

Dear Material Culture Scholars,

You may be interested to read that the source of Linnaeus' idea behind using the mythology about Andromeda and Perseus to name a plant genus has been found in a page of a Medieval manuscript, dating from 1444. The manuscript tells us about the contemporaneous material culture of medicinal herbs in Europe. 

It had previously been thought that Linnaeus had indulged in a flight of wild imagination in naming the plant Andromeda, but we now know that he was simply referencing familiar medicinal folklore about the plant, which had since been lost to history. Now it has been rediscovered. 

A paper is available to freely download from this link. Plant Page, No. 6: 

Please feel free to disseminate the information to other scholars who may have an interest.

Kindest regards,

Dr. Gerard Cheshire.

Research Associate.

University of Bristol.