Hebrew Dudaim, Ge 30:14-16; Song 7:13, a plant to which was attributed, probably without reason, the power of rendering barren women fruitful. According to most of the ancient versions, it was the Atropa Mandragora of Linnaeus, a plant of the genus Belladonna, with a root like a beet, white and reddish blossoms, and fragrant yellow apples, which ripen from May to July. But this opinion is uncertain.
Hebrew dudaim; i.e., "love-plants", occurs only in Ge 30:14-16; Song 7:13. Many interpretations have been given of this word dudaim. It has been rendered "violets," "Lilies," "jasmines," "truffles or mushrooms," "flowers," the "citron," etc. The weight of authority is in favour of its being regarded as the Mandragora officinalis of botanists, "a near relative of the night-shades, the 'apple of Sodom' and the potato plant." It possesses stimulating and narcotic properties (Ge 30:14-16). The fruit of this plant resembles the potato-apple in size, and is of a pale orange colour. It has been called the "love-apple." The Arabs call it "Satan's apple." It still grows near Jerusalem, and in other parts of Palestine.
The Atropa mandragore, of the order Solanaceae, allied to the deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna); a stupefying narcotic with broad dark green leaves, flowers purple, and green apples which become pale yellow when ripe, with a tuberous bifid (forked) root. Still found ripe in wheat harvest (May) on the lower parts of Lebanon and Hermon (Ge 30:14). The apples produce dizziness and exhilaration. The ancients believed them calculated to produce fecundity. Their Hebrew name, duwdaim, "love apples," agrees with their being used as aphrodisiacs to conciliate love; Rachel had this superstitious notion (Ge 30:14-17). The odor is too strong to be agreeable to Europeans, but Orientals value strong-smelling things; Dioscorides calls the apples "sweet-scented." Song 7:13, "the mandrakes give a smell." The root was fancied to resemble man, and to form a potent magical spell, and to emit a human groan on being torn from the ground!
dudaim. Some strong-smelling plant found in the fields of Palestine. Many opinions have been expressed as to what herb is referred to. It is possibly the Mandragora officinarum, called the 'love apple,' a relative to the 'apple of Sodom.' The Atropa mandragora is another species. Ge 30:14-16; Cant. 7:13.
(Heb. dudraim) are mentioned in
and in Song 7:13 The mandrake, Atropa mandragora, is closely allied to the well-known deadly nightshade, A. bellndonna, and to the tomato, and belongs to the order Solanaceae, or potato family. It grows in Palestine and Mesopotamia. (It grows low, like lettuce, which its leaves somewhat resemble, except that they are of a dark green. The flowers are purple,and the root is usually forked. Its fruit when ripe (early in May) is about the size of a small apple, 24 inches in diameter, ruddy or yellow and of a most agreeable odor (to Orientals more than to Europeans) and an equally agreeable taste. The Arabs call it "devil's apple," from its power to excite voluptuousness. Dr. Richardson ("Lectures on Alcohol," 1881) tried some experiments with wine made of the root of mandrake, and found it narcotic, causing sleep, so that the ancients used it as an anaesthetic. Used in small quantities like opium, it excites the nerves, and is a stimulant. --ED.)