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A Modern Herbal of Ancient Rome


The following plants are among those known to the ancient Romans (My goal is for these pages to contain - or at least include links to - all the information needed to create an authentic ancient Roman kitchen, garden or farm - real or imaginary - in any part of the known world *G*. More links will be added as I organize my notes:-):

  1. Acacia, Egyptian (Acacia*) [Acacia arabica]
  2. Acanthus* (Paederos*, Melamphyllum*) [Acanthus mollis*]
  3. Adonis
  4. Alexanders* (Olusatrum*, )
  5. Alfalfa (lucerne) [Medicago sativa]
  6. Almond* (Amygdala*)  [Prunus dulcis* ]
  7. All-bone*: (Holosteon*) [Plantago Belardi*]
  8. Aloe* (Tarum*) [Aloe vera*]
  9. Althaea* [Althaea officinalis]
  10. Amaranth (Immortales)(Amarantus*)
  11. Anemone
  12. Anise (Anesum*)[Pimpinella anisum L.]
  13. Anthyllis (barba-Jovis)
  14. Apiastrum
  15. Apple tree*: (Malus*) [Malus domestica*]
  16. Arar (Thyine-wood) [Tetraclinis articulata]
  17. Apricot
  18. Arrowhead*:  (Oistos* Sagitta*)  [Sagitta sagittifolia*]
  19. Ash:
  20. Aspalathus (Camel's thorn) [Alhaji camelorum Fisch.]
  21. Asparagus [Asparagus officinalis L]
  22. Asparagus, wild* (Mycanthus*) [perhaps Asparagus acutifolius*]
  23. Azalea, common (Aegolethron*) [Rhodendron ponticum]
  24. Azaroles
  25. Balm (Apiastrum*) [Melissa officinalis]
  26. Balsam, cultivated [Commiphora opobalsamum Engl.]
  27. Balsam tree*:  [Commiphora opobalsamum*]
  28. Baneberry*: (Actaea*) [Actaea spicata*]
  29. Bannana*, or plantain-tree:  (Pala*)  [Musa paradisiaca*]
  30. Banyan tree*: (Indian ficus*) [Ficus benghalensis*]
  31. Barbary nut*: (Sisyrinchion*) [Iris sisyrinchium*]
  32. Barley*: (Hordeum*) [Hordeum distichum, Hordeum vulgare, Hordeum hexastichum]
  33. Basil* (Ocimum*) [Ocimum basilicum*]
  34. Basil, field*: (Polycnemon*) [Zizyphora capitata*]
  35. Basil, wild*:  (Polycnemon*) [Calamintha clinopodium*]
  36. Bean: [Vicia faba L.]
  37. Beet: (Beta)* [Beta vulgaris L]
  38. Betony*: (Cestros, Vettonica*) [Betonica officinalis*]
  39. Birch (Betulla)* [Betula alba]*
  40. Blackberry*: (Rubus*) [Rubus fruticosus*]
  41. Blackthorn*: (Prunus*) [Prunus spinosa*]
  42. Blite
  43. Box
  44. Bracken*: (Thelypteris*) [Pteris aquilina*]
  45. Brussels sprout
  46. Bryony: (Vitis)
  47. Buckthorn*: (Pyxacanthus chironius*) [Rhamnus lyiciioides*]
  48. Burweed*: (Sparganion*) [Sparganium sp.]
  49. Butcher's Broom*: (Ruscum*) [Ruscus aculeatus*]
  50. Cabbage*: (Crambe*) [Brassica oleracea*]
  51. Calamint [Calamintha incana Boiss.]
  52. Camphire (Henna-flower) [Lawsonia inermis]
  53. Caper (Capparis or cappari)* [Capparis spinosa]*
  54. Cardoon [Cynara cardunculus L.]
  55. ~*Carob*~ (Ceronia, Ceratia*) [Ceratonia siliqua
  56. Caraway (cult.) (Careum)* [Carum carui L.] [Carum carvi]*
  57. Carpesium (Pontic or Cretan nard) [Valeriana dioscoridis Sibth.]
  58. Carrot (Pastinaca*)
  59. Cassia, poet's*  (Osyris*)  [Osyris alba*]
  60. Castor-oil tree* (Cici*, Sili*) [Ricinus communis*]
  61. Catmint (amer. Catnip) [Nepeta cataria L>]
  62. cedar
  63. celery (cult.) [Apium graveolensL.]
  64. celery, wild*: (Heleoselinum*) [Apium graveolens*]
  65. Centaury, great*:  (Pharnaceon*) [Centaurea centaurium*]
  66. Chamomile [Anthemis nobilis L.]
  67. Chamomile, wild: (Anthemis*) [Matricaria chamomilla, Anthemis chia]
  68. Cerintha
  69. Chamaeleon, black*: (Ulophonon*) [Cardopatium corymbosum*]
  70. Chaste-tree*:  (Vitex*) [Vitex angus castus*]
  71. Cherry (Cerasus*) [Prunus avium, sweet cherry; P. cerasus, sour cherry; P. mahaleb, mahaleb; P. padus, bog cherry]
  72. Chervil, cult.:  (Caerefolium*, Paederos*) [Anthriscus cerefolium]
  73. Chervil, wild*:  (Scandix*)  [Scandix pecten-veneris*]
  74. Chestnut (Balanitis)* [Castanea vesca]*
  75. Chibol (Fr. ciboule) [Allium fistulosum L.]
  76. Chickpea:  (Cicer*)[Cicer arietinum]*
  77. Chicory (Chichorium*) [Cichorium intybus or divaricatum]
  78. Chicory, wild*: (Seris*) [Cichorium intybus*]
  79. Chives [Allium schoenoprasum L.]
  80. Christ's thorn*:  (Paliurus*)  [in Africa - Zizyphus spina Christi*  ; in Europe  Paliurus aculeatus*]
  81. Chrysanthemum (parthenium)
  82. Cicely [Myrrhis odorata Scop.]
  83. Cinquefoil*: (Quinquefolium*)  [Potentilla reptans*, Tormentilla reptans*, Potentilla rupestris*, Delphinium staphisagria*]
  84. Cistus (Rock-rose) [Cistus Ladaniferus L.]
  85. Citron (Citrus, Malus Assyria*)* [Citrus medica]*
  86. Clary*: (Horminum*) [Salvia horminum*]
  87. Clubmoss, fir*:  (Selago*)  [Lycopodium selago*]
  88. Club-rush*: (Holoschoenus*) [Scirpus holoschoenus*]
  89. Colt's foot*: (Tussilago*) [Tussilago farfara*]
  90. Comfrey*: (Halus*, Symphytum*) [Symphytum officinale*]
  91. Convolvulus
  92. Coriander [Coriandrum sativum L.]
  93. Coriander, Roman*: (Melanthion*) [Nigella saliva*]
  94. Cornel*: (Virga sanguinea*) [Cornus saguinea*]
  95. Corn-flag*: (Hyncinthus*, Gladiolus*,  Ziphion*) [Gladiolus segetum*]
  96. Cornflower, blue: (Cyanus)* [Centaurea cyanus]*
  97. Cotton: [Gossypium herbaceum and G. arboreum]
  98. crab-apple
  99. Cress, cult.: (Cardamum*, Nasturtium*)  [Lepidium sativum]*
  100. Crocus
  101. Cross-wort*: (Phyteuma*) [Reseda phyuteuma*]
  102. Cucumber* (Cusumis*
  103. Cumin: (Cuminum)* [Cuminum cyminum L.]
  104. Cumin, black (gith, fitches): [Nigella sativa L.]
  105. Cumin, wild [Lagoecia cuminoides]*
  106. Cunila
  107. Currant, black: (Cynosbatos)* [Ribes nigrum]*
  108. Cyclamen: (Cyclaminus)* [Cyclamen sp.]*
  109. Cynoglosum
  110. Cypress: (Cypressus)* [Cyperus sempervirens]*
  111. Cypress (Galingale) [Cyperus longus L.]
  112. Dame's Violet*: (Hesperis*) [Hesperis matronalis*]
  113. Damson (plum): [Prunus insititia L.]
  114. Dill: (Anetum*)[Anethum graveolens L.]
  115. Dittany: (Dictamnum)* [Amaracus dictamnus]*
  116. Dock, sour*:  (Oxalis*) [Remex acetosa*]
  117. Double-tongue*: (Vicapervica*) [Ruscus hypophyllum*]
  118. Elder tree* : (Sabucus or sambucus*) [Sambucus nigra*]
  119. Elecampane*: (Chironium*, Inula*) [Inula helenium*]
  120. Elm*: (Ulmus*) [Ulmus sp.*)
  121. Endive, cultivated*: (Seris*) [Cichorium endivia*]
  122. Fennel,
  123. Fenugreek, cult.: (Aegoceras*, Telis*) [Trigonella foenum graecum]
  124. Fern:
  125. Ferula*: (Narthecia*, Narthex*) [Ferula communis*]
  126. Fig*: (Ficus*) [Ficus carica*]
  127. Fire-thorn*: (Pyracantha*) [Cotoneaster pyracantha*]
  128. Flax*: (Linum*) [Linum usitatissimum*  and  Linum angustifolium*]
  129. Fumitory*: (Isopyron*) [Fumaria capreolata*]
  130. Frankincense-tree*: (Tus*) [Boswellia Carteri*]
  131. Gallic nard*/Valerian (Nardus*)
  132. Garlic
  133. Gentian
  134. Germander*
  135. Ginger [Zingiber officinale]
  136. Gourd
  137. Grasswrack, Ligurian*: (Prason*) [Posidionia oceanica*]
  138. Groundpine/pine
  139. Hartwort, small*: (Syreon*, Seseli*) [Tordylium officinale*]
  140. Hazelnut (Abellana*) [Corylus avellana]
  141. Heliotrope
  142. Hemlock (Cicuta)* [Conium maculatum]*
  143. Hemp (Cannabis)* [Cannabis sativa]*
    1. Indian hemp*: (Gelotophyllis*) [Cannabis sativa*]
  144. Henbane*: (Hyoscyamus*) [Hoscyamus sp*]
  145. Henna (Cypros)* [Lawsonia inermis]*
  146. Hesperis (Dame's violet)
  147. Holewort*: (Thesium*) [Corydalis densiflora*]
  148. Holly
  149. Honeysuckle*:
  150. Horehound, black*:  (Ballote)* [Ballota nigra]*
  151. Horehound, white*:  (Prasion*) [Marrubium vulgare*]
  152. Horn-beam*: (Carpinus*, Zygia*) [Carpinus betulus*]
  153. Hornbeam, hop  (Ostrys or ostrya*) [Ostrya carpinifolia*]
  154. Horse-fennel*: (Hippomarathum*) [Prangos ferulacea*]
  155. Horse-sorrel*: (Hippolapathum*) [Rumex aquaticus*]
  156. Horsetail*: (Hippuris*) [Equisetum arvense or  maximum*]
  157. Houseleek*:  (Sedum*)
  158. Hyacinth
  159. Hyssop*: (Hysopum*) [Hyssop officinalis*] [Origanum hirtum L.]
  160. Iris:
  161. Ivy*  (Helix*, Hedera*, Orthocissos*) [Hedera helix*]
  162. Jujube, common*: (Zizyphus*) [Zizyphus vulgaris*]
  163. Juniper
  164. Kale (Helia*, Caulodes)* [Brassica oleracea acephala]*
  165. Larch*: (Larix*) [Larix communis*]
  166. Larkspur
  167. Laurel, bay: (Thasia*) [Laurus nobilis*]
  168. Laurustinus*: (Tinus*) [Viburnum tinus*]
  169. Lavender
  170. Lavender cotton (Chamaecyparissos)* [Santolina chamaecyparissus]
  171. Leek*: (Porrum*) [Allium porrum*] [Allium ampeloprasum var. porrum]
  172. Leek, wild (Ampeloprason)* [Allium ampeloprasum]*
  173. Lemon (malum medicum - the fruit or apple of the Medes) [Citrus limon B.]
  174. Lentils*: (Lens*) [Ervum lens*]  [Lens culinaris Medic.; also Lens esculenta Moench.]
  175. Lentisk (Mastic) [Pistachia lentiscus L.]
  176. Lettuce*: (Lactuca*) [Lactuca sativa]
  177. Lichen, Fragrant [Usnaea barbata L.]
  178. Lily: (Crinon*) [Lilium sp.]
  179. Linden*: (Tilia*) [Tilia tomentosa*]
  180. Linseed
  181. Lotus, Indian (Cyamos)* [Nelumbo nucifera]*
  182. Lotus
  183. Lovage*: (Ligusticum*)[Levisticum officinale*] [Ligusticum levisticum L.]
  184. Lupin*: (Lupinus*) [especially Lupinus hirsutus, L. albus, and L. termis*]
  185. Lychnis
  186. Madder*: (Rubia*) [Rubia tinctorum*]
  187. Maidenhair (Adiatum)
  188. Mallow
  189. Mandragora
  190. Mango*: (Ficus*) [Mangifera indica*]
  191. Mangrove, White* (Arabian olea*) [Avicennia officinalis*]
  192. Maple:
  193. Marjoram [Origanum majorana L.]
  194. Mastic tree*: (Lentiscus*) [Pistacia lentiscus*]
  195. Marum (?cat-thyme) [Teucrium marum L.]
  196. Medlar*: (Setania*) [Mespilus germanica*]
  197. Melilotus*: (Sertula campana*) [Trigonella graeca*]
  198. Melissophyllum (balm)
  199. Melon
  200. Millet, Italian*: (Panicum*)  [Setaria italica*]
  201. Mint:
  202. Mistletoe*: (Viscum*) [Loranthus europaeus* and  Viscum album*]
  203. Moss, generic* (Muscus*)
  204. Moss, sphagnum* (Muscus*)
  205. Mulberry tree* (Morus*) [Morus nigra* and Morus alba*]
  206. Mullein*: (Verbascum*) [Verbascum thapsus*; Verbascum sinuatum; Verbascum phlomoides or perhaps Phlomis lychnitis or fruticosa*]
  207. Mustard*:
  208. Myrtle-tree* (Myrtus) [Myrtus communis*; m. candida, var. leucocarpa*;m. nostras, var. romana*; m. Tarentina var. Tarentina*, m.silvestris*]
  209. Myrrh*: (Murra*) [Balsamedondron myrrha*]
  210. Nard, Celtic [Valeriana celtica L.]
  211. Nard, Mountain [Valeriana tuberosa L.]
  212. Nard, Wild [Asarum europaeum L.] or [Valeriana phu L.]
  213. Nard, Pontic [Valeriana dioscoridis Sibth.]
  214. Narcissus
  215. Nettle tree (Celthis*, Syrtica arbor*) [Celtis australis*]
  216. Nightshade*: (Strychnos*) [esp.  Solanum nigrum*]
  217. Oak*  (Quercus*)  [esp. Quercus robur*]
  218. Oats (Bromos)* [Avena sativa]*
  219. Olea of India* [Olea cuspidate*]
  220. Oleander* (Onothera*, Onothuris*, Onear*, Rhododendron*, Rhododaphne*) [Nerium oleander*]
  221. Olive* (Olea,* Olive-berry*) [Olea europaea*]
  222. Onion (Cepa*) [Allium Cepa*]
  223. Orache
  224. Orage
  225. Palm  (Palma*)
  226. Parsnip* : (Siser*) [Peucedanum sativum*]
  227. Parsley*:  (Petroselinum*) [Petroselinum sativum*]  [Carum petroselinum B. and H.f.]
  228. Partridge Plant
  229. Papyrus* (Papyrus*) [Cyperus papyrus*]
  230. Peach tree*:  (Persicus*) [Amygdalus persica*]
  231. Pea*: (Pisum*)  [Pisum sativum*]
  232. Pear tree*: (Pirus*)  [Pyrus communis*]
  233. Peony* (Paeonia*) [Paeonia sp.*]
  234. Pellitory* : (Muralis*, Perdicium*) [Parietaria officinalis*]
  235. Pellitory 'of Spain' / Spanish chamomile   [Anacyclus pyrethrum L.]
  236. Pellitory, wall*: (Urceolaris*) [Parietaria officinalis*]
  237. Pennyroyal (Blechon*, Puleium*)[Mentha pulegium L.]
  238. Pepper* (Piper*)
  239. Pepperwort*:(Iberis*) [Lebidium graminifolium*]
  240. Periwinkle* (Vicapervica*) [Vinca herbacea*]
  241. Pimpernel (Anagallis* and Corchorum*) [Anagallis arvensis, incl. subsp. phoenicea and caerulea]
  242. Pine
  243. Pistachio*: (Pistacia*) [Pistacia vera]
  244. Plane tree
  245. Plane, oriental*: (Platanus*) [Platanus orientalis*]
  246. Plum tree*:  (Prunus*) [Prunus domestica*]
  247. Pomegranate* (Punica*) [Punica granatum*]
  248. Poplar* (Populus*) [Populus*]
  249. Poppy*: (Papaver*) [Papaver sp.* including P. somniferum, P. rhocas, P. hybridum, P. argemone*]
  250. Poppy, opium* (Nepenthes*) [Papaver somniferum *]
  251. Privet*: (Ligustrum*) [Ligustrum vulgare*]
  252. Purslain*:  (Porcillaca*)  [Portulaca oleracea*]
  253. Quince*: (Chrysomelum*, Musteum*,  Strutheum*) [Cydonia vulgaris*]
  254. Radish, cultivated*: (Raphanus*) [Raphanus sativus*]
  255. Rape [Brassica napus]
  256. Raspberry*: (Idaeus rubus*) [Rubus idaeus*]
  257. Rice*:  (Oryza*) [Oryza sativa]
  258. Rock-rose, Cretan*: (Leda*) [Cistus creticus*]
  259. Rocket [Eruca sativa Mill.]
  260. Rose
  261. Rosemary*:  (Rosmarinum*, libanotis/conyza) [Rosmarinus officinalis *]
  262. Rosemary frankincense [Lecokia cretica DC.]
  263. Rue*: (Ruta*)  [Ruta graveolens*]
  264. Rush, flowering*: (Sparganion*) [Butomus umbellatus*]
  265. Rye*: (Secale*) [Secale cereale*]

  266. Saffron:  see Crocus, Saffron
  267. Safflower (Bastard Saffron):  (Cnecos)* [Carthamus tinctorius L.]
  268. Sage [Salvia officinalis L.]
  269. Saint John's Wort*: (Hypericon*) [Hypericum sp. especially H. crispum, H. empetrifolium, H. coris*]
  270. Salsify*: (Tragopogon*) [including the purple-flowered Tragopogon porrifolius and crocifolius and perhaps the yelow-flowered Tragopogon pratensis*]
  271. Salvia [Salvia triloba L.]
  272. Samphire (Rock-fennel): [Crithmum maritimum L.]
  273. Savory*: (Thymbra*) [Satureia hortensis*]
  274. Savory (wild): [Satureia thymbra L.]
  275. Seaweed*:
  276. Sebesten*: (Myxa*, Prunus Aegyptia*) [Cordia myxa*]
  277. Sedge*: (Ulva*) [Ulva conferva*]
  278. Sensitive plant*: (Aeschynomene*) [Mimosa asperata*]
  279. Service tree*: (Sorbus*)
  280. Sesame*: (sesima*, sesamon*) [Sesamum indicum *]
  281. Seseli (cult.) [Tordylium officinale L.]
  282. Shallot [Allium ascalonium L.]
  283. Silphium [Ferula tingitana L.]
  284. Smilax
  285. Snapdragon: (Antirrhinum*) [Antirrhinum orontium]
  286. Sorgham*: (Milium introduced from India*) [Sorghum vulgare ?*]
  287. Sorrel
  288. Sorrel, wood*: (Oxys*) [Oxalis acetosella*]
  289. Southernwood [Artemisia abrotanum L.]
  290. Spalax
  291. Spleenwort, maidenhair*: (Trichomanes*) [Asplenium trichomanes*]
  292. Spurge*: (Tithymalis*) [Euphorbia sp.*]
  293. Squill
  294. Star of Bethlehem (Bulbine, or bolbine*,  Ornithogala*) [Ornithogalum umbellatum*]
  295. Stock*:
  296. Stone-parsley*: (Sinon*) [Sison amomum*]
  297. Strawberry*: (Fraga*) [Fragaria vesca*]
  298. Strawberry tree*: (Arbutus*, Unedo*) [Arbutus unedo]
  299. Styrax, official*: (Storas*(styrax*)) [Styrax officinalis]
  300. Sulfer-wort*: (Peucadanum*) [Peucedanum officinale*]
  301. Sumach [Rhus coriaria L.]
  302. Summer beet
  303. Sweet cicely*: (Myrris*) [Myrrhis adorata*]
  304. Sweet flag*: (Acoron*) [Acorus calamus*]
  305. Sweet rush
  306. Sycamore* (Egyptian morus*)[Ficus sycamorus*]
  307. Tamarisk*: (Tamarice*, Tamarix* ) [Tamarix articulata*]
  308. Tare*: (Vicia*) [Vicia sativa*]
  309. Terebinth*: (Terebinthus*) [Pistacia terebinthus*]
  310. Thapsia
  311. Thistle*
  312. Thyme
  313. Thyne-wood tree*:  (Thya*) [Callitris quadrivalvis*]
  314. Tragacanth* (Tragacantha*) [especially Astragalus angustifolius*]
  315. Tree medick (Cytisus)* [Medicago arborea]*
  316. Truffle*:
  317. Tuber apple
  318. Turnip* (Rapa* -um*) [Brassica rapa* Brassica campestris]
  319. Turnip, French (Bunias)* [Brassica napus]*
  320. Valarian, Caucasian*: (Phu*) [ Valeriana phu*]
  321. Vervian*: (Peristereos*, Verbenaca*) [Verbena officinalis*]
  322. Vetch
  323. Vine
  324. Violet, sweet*: (Viola*) [Viola adorata*]
  325. Walflower*: (Phlox*) [Cheiranthus Cheiri*]
  326. Walnut (Basilicon*, Iuglans* (usualy nux iuglans*))* [Juglans regia]*
  327. Water Chestnut*:(Tribulus*) [Trapa natans*]
  328. Water Lily:
  329. Wheat
  330. Whortleberry*: (Vaccinium*) [Vaccinium myrtillus*]
  331. Willow* (Salix*) [Salix sp. ]
  332. Woad*: (Isatis*) [Isatis tinctoria*]
  333. Wormwood
  334. Yew-tree*: (Taxus*) [Taxus baccata*]

* term indexed, or other information listed in the index of the Loeb edition of Pliny's Natural History.