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Re: VMs: Viola tricolor

Hi William,

At 21:37 24/05/2004 +0100, William Edmondson wrote:
Misidentification could lead to poisoning - badly drawn plants could lead to misidentification - that was all I meant.

Again, this assumes that correct identification of naturally-occurring plants is the sole purpose of the herbal pictures. Is it?

I still haven't seen a good argument/explanation as to why/how poor representations of well-known herbs/medicinals could be useful.

They may simply be aide-memoires; or (collectively) a way of navigating a large set of small documents; or simply decorative features; or the name of each herb might constitute a key used to decipher (somehow) the text on that page (the picture need then be only the minimally recognisable depiction, not the maximally reliable depiction); or the important part of the plant might be intact but the rest might be deliberately distorted ("visual steganography"); or there may be not just "plain" herbals but in fact several different kinds of drawing at play (for example, the cryptoheraldry we've discussed on-list). The worst thing is that this list barely scratches the surface of the possible explanations that might satisfy your criterion of "usefulness".

Basically, "oranges are not the only fruit". :-9

Further, they are not all "well-known herbs/medicinals": despite Dana's sterling efforts, only a few have been identified with a high degree of certainty (f2v's nanufar / Nymphaea alba / water lily, for example), and so the mystery remains.

Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....

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