A mandrake is a plant with a thick root that looks a little like a parsnip or a fat carrot. Mandrakes can be poisonous if you eat them.

Although a mandrake isn't edible, it is sometimes used in folk medicine. The root of the mandrake has very slight hallucinogenic qualities, and if it's consumed in large quantities it can cause death or coma. Mandrakes are famous in literature and folklore — they appear in the Bible, and one story claims that they scream when pulled from the ground, killing the person who harvests them.

Definitions of mandrake
  1. noun
    a plant of southern Europe and North Africa having purple flowers, yellow fruits and a forked root formerly thought to have magical powers
    synonyms: Mandragora officinarum, devil's apples
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    type of:
    herb, herbaceous plant
    a plant lacking a permanent woody stem; many are flowering garden plants or potherbs; some having medicinal properties; some are pests
  2. noun
    the root of the mandrake plant; used medicinally or as a narcotic
    synonyms: mandrake root
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    type of:
    (botany) the usually underground organ that lacks buds or leaves or nodes; absorbs water and mineral salts; usually it anchors the plant to the ground
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