Found in the Archives: Germany’s Wild Medicinal Plants

Atropa belladonna from Medicinal Wildflowers collectionFrom June 2011 to April 2012, Special Collections and Archives had on exhibit reproductions from one of the most beautiful volumes in our collection, Deutschlands wildwachsende Arzney-Pflanzen by German botanist Johann Gotttleib Mann.

Published in 1828, Deutschlands wildwachsende Arzney-Pflanzen (Germany’s Wild Medicinal Plants) contains hand-colored lithographs of medical plants, flowers, and fruits. Following the illustrations is the Latin name and German description for each plant.

In the introduction to the volume, Mann states that his goal in publishing the work was two-fold: to present a collection of realistic drawings of medicinal plants for the use of doctors, veterinarians and pharmacists who would not otherwise have the time or opportunity to study the plants in nature, and to give a simple and precise description of the plants along with where they may be found and when they are in season. Mann’s illustrations transcend their original, utilitarian purpose of assisting medical professionals, however; they are works of art.

Although the display has been replaced by the Loyola Centennial Exhibit, images from Deutschlands wildwachsende Arzney-Pflanzen are now viewable in the Louisiana Digital Library.

To view the book in its entirety, contact Loyola University Special Collections & Archives at archives@loyno.edu or come see us on the third floor of the Monroe Library.

Found in the Archives is a recurring series of crazy cool stuff found in the Monroe Library’s Special Collections & Archives.

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