The Voynich Manuscript/F9v

Transcription, comments, theories, links to do with VMs page f9v to be added here... :-)


One plant, flush against the right and bottom edges, reaching almost to the top.

Root: a bundle of thin wires. Dark overpaint?
Stem: one straight. Light color.
Branches: two symmetrical pairs, oblique.
Leaves: the four lower ones are medium width, lance-shaped, with smooth edges; the others have the same outline but are deeply cut into five narrow points. Dark color.
Stalk: short, mostly missing.
Flowers: five, at the tips of stem and branches.
Stalk: medium length, thin
Chalyx: flat or everted, with short triangular sepals, partly hidden by corolla.
Petals: five rounded petals, a large one on top, the others like "arms and legs".
Core: very small. Medium and dark colors.

Two paragraphs (with 3.7 and 7.7 lines) at the top, left-justified. The first one is right-justified; the second one follows the plant's profile on the right. Both are interrupted in several places by the flowers and leaves.


Petersen identifies this plant, with high confidence, as "Viola trinitalis". I coudn't find such species, but "herba trinitatis" is the herbalists' name for Viola tricolor (heartsease,wild pansy) [1,2,3].

Indeed, comparing f9v with a drawing by Carl Lindman [1], we see an almost perfect match --- including the roots, and the two types of leaves.

Dennis Mardle [10 Oct 1998] observes that the details match also Viola arvensis (field pansy), which hybridises with V. tricolor and is very similar in shape, including especially the dimorphic leaves [1,4].

The colors may help resolve this issue. The flowers of Viola tricolor are usually purple and white with yellow core; Lindman's drawing shows V. arvensis as white (or light blue?) with yellow core. Jim Reeds color list [03 Mar 1998] reports some blue on this page, to be confirmed.

In either case, there is one odd detail: the flowers in f9v are upside-down. Also the two bottom flowers are somewhat different.

Viola tricolor was used internally to treat epilepsy, asthma and bronchitis (whole plant), as an emetic and purgative (seeds) and as a heart tonic (flowers). Externally it was used to treat skin diseases [2]. The flowers are reported to be edible.


[1] Carl Axel Magnus Lindman

Bilder ur Nordens Flora
227. A. Styvmorsviol, Viola tricolor L.; B. Åkerviol, Viola arvensis Murr.

[2] Mrs. M. Grieve, F.R.H.S.

A Modern Herbal
Viola tricolor - Heartsease

[3] ECNC DATABASE: SAXIFRAGA European Flora Slides

Viola tricolor ssp. tricolor

[4] ECNC DATABASE: SAXIFRAGA European Flora Slides

Viola Arvensis Murr.