The Garden at Eichstätt: The Book of Plants
Special Collections QK41 BJ24 2000
In an early seventeenth-century florilegium, Carolus Clusius wrote (in translation): ‘God gave to each plant its strength and each plant proves that He is present.’ Clusius was recommended by Basilius Besler (1561-1629), a Nuremberg apothecary, to be the editor of Hortus Eystettenis, a work commissioned by Prince Bishop Gemmingen, owner of the garden at Eichstätt. Besler produced the copperplate engravings for the work, which was printed in 1613. Although criticized for lacking scientific rigour, the illustrations of the flowers, in full bloom and colour, are exact. Opposite the ‘screaming’ mandrake is Acorus calamus (Sweet Flag or Calamus), which is used medicinally for a wide variety of ailments, and for making fragrances. One common use of Sweet Flag, either by chewing or infusion, is as a carminative and digestive bitter.
Basilius Besler, “The Garden at Eichstätt: The Book of Plants,” ourheritage.ac.nz | OUR Heritage, accessed June 1, 2023, https://ourheritage.ac.nz/items/show/7693.