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Definition of MANDRAKE
a: a Mediterranean herb (Mandragora officinarum) of the nightshade family with large ovate leaves, greenish-yellow or purple flowers, and a large usually forked root resembling a human in form and formerly credited with magical properties
b: the root of a mandrake formerly used especially to promote conception, as a cathartic, or as a narcotic and soporific
a: a Mediterranean solanaceous herb of the genus Mandragora (M. officinarum) that has greenish yellow or purple flowers, globose yellow fruits formerly supposed to have aphrodisiac properties, and a large usually forked root resembling a human in form and formerly credited with magical properties b (1): the root of this plant that contains hyoscyamine and was formerly used especially to promote conception, as a cathartic, or as a narcotic and soporific (2): a solution of mandrake root (as in wine) formerly used as a narcotic
Any of six plant species of the genus Mandragora (nightshade family), native to the Mediterranean and the Himalayas. The best-known species, M. officinarum, has a short stem bearing a tuft of ovate flowers, with a thick, fleshy, often forked root. The mandrake has long been known for its poisonous properties. In ancient times it was used as a narcotic and an aphrodisiac, and it was believed to have magical powers. When pulled from the ground, its forked root, supposed to resemble the human form, was said to utter a shriek that killed or drove mad anyone who heard it. Once pulled, however, the plant was said to provide soothing sleep, heal wounds, induce love, and facilitate pregnancy. In North America, the name mandrake is often used for the mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum), a spring forest wildflower.