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Pomona Sprout: "We'll be repotting Mandrakes today. Now, who can tell me the properties of the Mandrake?"
Hermione Granger: "Mandrake, or Mandragora, is a powerful restorative. It is used to return people who have been transfigured or cursed to their original state."
Pomona Sprout: "Excellent. Ten points to Gryffindor. The Mandrake forms an essential part of most antidotes. It is also, however, dangerous. Who can tell me why?"
Hermione Granger: "The cry of the Mandrake is fatal to anyone who hears it."
— A discussion regarding Mandrakes in a second year Herbology class[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

"A hundred or so tufty little plants, purplish green in color, were growing there in rows. They looked quite unremarkable to Harry, who didn't have the slightest idea what Hermione meant by the “cry” of the Mandrake."
Harry Potter's perception of Mandrakes in a Herbology lesson[src]

A Mandrake plant

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

The life stages of the Mandrake

Mandrakes not only resembled humans, but also had similar behaviours to them. In the 1992-1993 school year at Hogwarts, the school's Mandrakes, at one point of time, became moody and secretive, which indicated that they were reaching adolescence.[5] Later on, they threw a loud and raucous party, which was comparable to humans when they are teenagers, which made Professor Sprout very happy indeed.[6] Madam Pomfrey also mentioned the Mandrakes having acne.[5] Mandrakes were fully matured when they started moving into each others' pots.

When matured, Mandrakes could be cut up to serve as a prime ingredient for the Mandrake Restorative Draught, which was used to cure those who have been petrified.[3][5][7] Stewed Mandrake was used in Potion-making, forming an essential part of most antidotes.[1] Their leaves were also used in potions as well.[8]

The Dugbog's favourite food was Mandrake, which led to Mandrake-growers finding nothing but a bloody mess when pulling their plants out of the ground.[9] Flesh-Eating Slugs were known to favour eating Mandrakes as well.[10]

History

"We will be able to cure her, Argus. Professor Sprout recently managed to procure some Mandrakes. As soon as they have reached their full size, I will have a potion made that will revive Mrs Norris."
Albus Dumbledore reassuring Argus Filch after his cat was petrified[src]

Minister for Magic Venusia Crickerly died in 1912, following a freak Mandrake-related gardening accident.[11]

The Sunday edition of The New York Ghost published on 28 November 1926 reported a Mandrake attack on a Herbologist.[12]

Professor Sprout teaching students how to repot young Mandrakes in Herbology class

Mandrakes were part of the second[1] and third-year[2] Herbology curriculum at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, taught by Professor Pomona Sprout.[1] Mandrakes were revised again in the fifth year for students' Ordinary Wizarding Levels.[13] During the 1986–1987 school year at Hogwarts, Professor Sprout taught third year students in Herbology how to handle Mandrakes.[2]

During the 1988–1989 school year at Hogwarts, Jacob's sibling and Liz Tuttle helped Professor Sprout spraying Flesh-Eating Slug Repellent on Mandrakes to prevent slugs from eating them.[14] Later in the school year, first-year students learnt about Mandrakes presumably in Herbology class, but some of them neglected to use their earmuffs, making it necessary for them to be treated by Madam Pomfrey in the Hospital Wing. Jacob's sibling helped her take care of them.[15]

Harry and Ron replanting Mandrakes in Herbology

At the start of the 1992–1993 school year, Professor Sprout taught second-year Gryffindor and Hufflepuff students in class how to properly repot baby Mandrakes. Hermione Granger impressed Professor Sprout with her knowledge of the Mandrake's properties, earning her house points for her house Gryffindor.[1] During this school year, the school's growth of Mandrakes served the additional purpose of making the Mandrake Restorative Draught, in order to revive all those who had been petrified during the Chamber of Secrets openings.[3]

During the Battle of Hogwarts, Professor Sprout, Neville Longbottom and other students lobbed Mandrakes over the Castle's battlements to attack the Death Eaters.[4]

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.[16]

Etymology

Mandrake is from late Old English mandragora, that had the dragon-related description replaced with native drake.[17]

Mandragora, other than referring to the plant, could also mean "a kind of tiny dragon immune to fire". It is from the Latin mandragorās,[18] which is from Ancient Greek μανδραγόρας (translit. mandragóras),[19] associating with the Old Persian word merdum gija meaning "plant of humans".[20]

Behind the scenes

A Mandrake being pulled from its roots

The LEGO portrayal of a Mandrake

  • A Mandrake's scream was very similar to (if not the same as) a banshee's scream, which was also fatal.
  • Mandrake Mufflers, a shop located in Diagon Alley North Side, is presumably one of the places for individuals to purchase earmuffs for the occasion.
  • 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).[21]
  • 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 adaptation of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Mandrakes were also capable of biting people if they put fingers close to their mouths, as Draco Malfoy learned the hard way (it is also worth noting that Slytherins did not have Herbology lessons with Gryffindors in the 1992–1993 school year).
  • When working on Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Illustrated Edition, Illustrator Jim Kay wondered, "what if Leonardo Da Vinci did a study of the Mandrake, and what would it look like?", and used that as an inspiration when he approached the illustration.[22] The Mandrake study may have been inspired by Studies of the Fetus in the Womb in particular.[23]
  • In the real world:
    • 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.[24] 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 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.

Appearances

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The Harry Potter Wiki has 72 images related to Mandrake.

A Mandrake as a POP! Vinyl

A baby Mandrake as shown in Harry Potter: Wizards Unite

A Mandrake as seen in Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells

Notes and references

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 6 (Gilderoy Lockhart)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 3, Chapter 6 (The Letter from No One) - Herbology Lesson "Mandrakes"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 9 (The Writing on the Wall)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 31 (The Battle of Hogwarts)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 13 (The Very Secret Diary)
  6. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 14 (Cornelius Fudge)
  7. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 17 (The Heir of Slytherin)
  8. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 26 (The Second Task)
  9. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  10. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game)
  11. Writing by J. K. Rowling: "Ministers for Magic" at Wizarding World
  12. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (film) (see this image)
  13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game)
  14. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 5, Side Quest "Magical Birds of a Feather"
  15. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 5, Side Quest "Poor Sport"
  16. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
  17. Wiktionary favicon.PNG mandrake on Wiktionary
  18. Wiktionary favicon.PNG mandragora on Wiktionary
  19. Wiktionary favicon.PNG mandragoras#Latin on Wiktionary
  20. Wiktionary favicon.PNG μανδραγόρας#Ancient Greek on Wiktionary
  21. LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
  22. Jim Kay Illustrator - Create Expo 2016 (from 23:55 to 24:31)
  23. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Illustrated Edition (see this image)
  24. WP favicon.PNG Mandrake on Wikipedia
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 Flesh-Eating Trees of the World · Ingredient Encyclopedia · One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi · Winogrand's Wondrous Water Plants
Plants studied and grown at Hogwarts
Aconite · Asphodel · Belladonna · Bouncing Bulb · Bubotuber · Bubotuber pus · Chinese Chomping Cabbage · Cowbane · Devil's Snare · Dirigible plum · Dittany · Fanged Geranium · Fat cactus-like plant · Fire seed bush · Flitterbloom · Flutterby bush · Fluxweed · Gillyweed · Ginger · Honking daffodil · Ivy · Knotgrass · Lavender · Leaping Toadstool · Mandrake · Mimbulus mimbletonia · Mistletoe · Moly · Nettle · Puffapod · Raspberry · Rose · Sage · Screechsnap · Self-fertilising shrub · Shrivelfig · Snargaluff · Sneezewort · Sopophorous plant · Spiky Bush · Spiky Prickly Plant · Stinksap · Sugar Shrub · Toad-eating plant · Tormentil · Umbrella Flower · Valerian · Vampiric vegetation · Venomous Tentacula · Walking plant · Wax vegetables · Whomping Willow · Wiggentree · Wild rice · Wormwood
Spells taught in Herbology at Hogwarts
Fire-Making Spell (Incendio) · Herbivicus Charm (Herbivicus) · Incendio Duo Spell (Incendio Duo) · Lumos Solem Spell (Lumos Solem) · Severing Charm (Diffindo)
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