"Mandrake, or Mandragora, is a powerful restorative. It is used to turn people who have been transfigured or cursed to their original state. The cry of the Mandrake is fatal to anyone who hears it."
Hermione Granger on the properties and abilities of the plant[src]

A Mandrake, also known as Mandragora, was a magical and sentient plant which had a root that looked like a human (like a baby when the plant is young, but maturing as the plant grows). When matured, its cry could be fatal to any person who heard it.[1]

Description and traits

Professor Sprout teaches her Second year Herbology students how to pot young Mandrakes

Whenever unearthed, the root screams. The scream of a mature Mandrake when it is unearthed will kill any person who hears it, but a young Mandrake's screams will usually only knock a person out for several hours. When Hogwarts students study Mandrakes in Herbology class, Pomona Sprout had the students wear earmuffs to protect their ears from the Mandrake's cries.[1]

Harry and Ron replanting Mandrakes

Mandrakes not only resemble humans, but also have similar behaviours to them. In the 1992-1993 school year, the Mandrakes, at one point of time, became moody and secretive, which indicated that they were reaching adolescence.[4] Later on, they threw a loud and raucous party, which is comparable to humans when they are teenagers, which made Pomona Sprout very happy indeed.[5] Rubeus Hagrid also mentioned the Mandrakes having acne. Mandrakes are fully matured when they start moving into each others' pots. When matured, Mandrakes can be cut up to serve as a prime ingredient for the Mandrake Restorative Draught, which is used to cure those who have been Petrified.[2][6]

A Mandrake being pulled from its roots

A Mandrake's scream is very similar to (if not the same as) a banshee's scream, which is also fatal.

The Dugbog's favourite food is Mandrakes, which leads to Mandrake-growers finding nothing but a bloody mess when pulling their plants out.[7] Flesh-Eating Slugs are known to favour eating Mandrakes as well.[8]

Stewed Mandrake is used in Potion-making, forming an essential part of most antidotes.[1] Their leaves are also used in potions as well.[9]

History

Minister for Magic Venusia Crickerly died in 1912, following a freak Mandrake-related gardening accident.[10]

Mandrakes are part of the second-year Herbology curriculum at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.[1] In the 1992-1993 school year, the school's growth of Mandrakes served the additional purpose of making a Restorative Draught to revive all those who had been Petrified during the Chamber of Secrets openings.[2]

During the Battle of Hogwarts, Professor Sprout, Neville Longbottom, and other students, lobbed Mandrakes over the Castle's battlements to attack the Death Eaters.[3]

During the Calamity which affected the wizarding world in the 2010s, Mandrakes were amongst the various magical items caught up as Foundables which had to be dealt with by members of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force.[11]

Etymology

The (European) Mandrake plant has been used since ancient times as a medicinal plant and has a tradition associated with magical activities and witchcraft. It is a member of the nightshade family. It contains hyoscyamine, scopolamine, and mandragorin. Medically, it has been used as a pain killer and a sedative. It was used in ancient times for surgery. An overdose, though, can be fatal.

Because of its roots' shapes resembling humans, it has been used in magical operations, and as a supposed aphrodisiac. There are variations on the plant, Mandragora Offininarum being the most usual form, with the smaller Mandragora autumnalis having the same properties. Some folk traditions call the latter (M. autumnalis) variety as "Womandrake" in distinction to M. Officinarum as "Mandrake." A third variant, Mandragora turcomanica, is a nearly extinct and very rare variety, found mostly in Turkey and a few areas of Iran. M. turcomanica is distinguished from M. autumnalis by having larger fruit.

In the Western Hemisphere, another plant, Podophyllum petaltum, is called the American Mandrake. The American Mandrake is unrelated to the European variety, and has fewer medical applications. It, too, is poisonous.

Behind the scenes

  • In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4, mandrakes can be found throughout the castle and grounds and their cries can be used to break glass objects, but can be only be handled when wearing earmuffs. Also the player can make it sing as an extra (cheat code or unlocked extra).[12]
  • In the Game Boy Color version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, the "Mandrake Root" item does not resemble the babies seen in other versions, and in fact looks more like a leaf than a root, suggesting the item is merely misnamed.
  • In the film version, Mandrakes were also capable of biting people if they put fingers close to their mouths, as Draco Malfoy learned the hard way.

Gallery

Appearances

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Notes and references


Herbology
Pottedmandrake.PNG
Herbologists
Blossom Degrasse · Miranda Goshawk · Quiac Marinus · Beaumont Marjoribanks · Nepali wizard · Gethsemane Prickle · Sanjay Shanker · Selina Sapworthy · Phyllida Spore · Tilden Toots · Hadrian Whittle · Sir Winogrand
Herbology at Hogwarts
Herbology Award · Herbology Lesson Cup · Herbology Race Cup · Herbology Store
Greenhouses One · Two · Three · Four · Five · Six · Seven · Professor's Office
Professors Herbert Beery · Pomona Sprout · Neville Longbottom · Unnamed Professor (19th century)
Textbooks Encyclopedia of Toadstools · Flesh-Eating Trees of the World · Goshawk's Guide to Herbology · Magical Water Plants of the Mediterranean · One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi · Winogrand's Wondrous Water Plants
Plants studied at Hogwarts
Aconite · Asphodel · Belladonna · Bouncing Bulb · Bubotuber · Bubotuber pus · Chinese Chomping Cabbage · Devil's Snare · Dittany · Fanged Geranium · Fire Seed Bush · Flitterbloom · Flutterby bush · Fluxweed · Gillyweed · Ginger · Knotgrass · Leaping Toadstool · Mandrake · Mimbulus mimbletonia · Mistletoe · Moly · Nettle · Puffapod · Raspberry · Screechsnap · Self-fertilising shrub · Shrivelfig · Snargaluff · Sneezewort · Spiky Bush · Spiky Prickly Plant · Stinksap · Toad-eating plant · Umbrella Flower · Valerian · Vampiric vegetation · Venomous Tentacula · Walking plant · Wax vegetables · Whomping Willow · Wiggentree · Wild rice · Wormwood
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