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Dactylorhiza aff fuchsii Druce ex Soo Orchidaceae Common Spotted orchid. Distribution: Ireland to Mongolia. Roots look like a hand. Coles (1657) calls them Palma Christi sive [or] Satyrion (to distinguish it from Ricinus communis which he calls Palma Christi sive Ricinus. This plant is probably his Female Satyrion and another Dactylorhiza, probably one of the English Marsh orchids, is his Male Satyrion Royal, with purple flowers. In common with Orchis he writes 'The full and plump roots of the Satyrium or Orchis, whereof the Electuary Diasatyrium is made, are of mighty efficacy to provoke to venery, which they that have bulbous roots [meaning the testicle shaped roots of Orchis] do by Signature.'. Terrestrial orchids continue, to be harvested by the millions annually in the Middle East for the production of Salep, including Salep ice cream, because of their mythological aphrodisiacal property. Photographed in the Medicinal Garden of the Royal College of Physicians, London.

Dr Henry Oakeley

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Free to use with attribution CC BYCredit: Dr Henry Oakeley
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Dactylorhiza aff fuchsii Druce ex Soo Orchidaceae Common Spotted orchid. Distribution: Ireland to Mongolia. Roots look like a hand. Coles (1657) calls them Palma Christi sive [or] Satyrion (to distinguish it from Ricinus communis which he calls Palma Christi sive Ricinus. This plant is probably his Female Satyrion and another Dactylorhiza, probably one of the English Marsh orchids, is his Male Satyrion Royal, with purple flowers. In common with Orchis he writes 'The full and plump roots of the Satyrium or Orchis, whereof the Electuary Diasatyrium is made, are of mighty efficacy to provoke to venery, which they that have bulbous roots [meaning the testicle shaped roots of Orchis] do by Signature.'. Terrestrial orchids continue, to be harvested by the millions annually in the Middle East for the production of Salep, including Salep ice cream, because of their mythological aphrodisiacal property. Photographed in the Medicinal Garden of the Royal College of Physicians, London. Credit: Dr Henry Oakeley. CC BY


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