mandragora

MANDRAGORA

[noun]

1. a narcotic, short-stemmed European plant, Mandragora officinarum, of the nightshade family, having a fleshy, often forked root somewhat resembling a human form. Also known as a mandrake.

2. another name for the May apple.

Etymology: probably via Middle Dutch or English from Latin mandragoras (whence Old English mandragora), from Greek. The form mandrake was probably adopted through folk etymology, because of the allegedly human appearance of the root and because drake (dragon) suggested magical powers.

[Benjamin A. Vierling - Mandragora]