Lamb of Tartary

anotherlayer

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So, I haven't heard of this one before and it's kinda weird. Imagine you are walking through your buddy's farm and he has sheep growing on a stalk and it's just swaying around and eating the grass below, all four legs suspended. Once the grass is gone, the lamb-on-a-stalk dies and then you can drink it's yummy blood. I give you...

Vegetable Lamb of Tartary

lamb_plant1.png

The Vegetable Lamb of Tartary (Latin: Agnus scythicus or Planta Tartarica Barometz) is a legendary zoophyte of Central Asia, once believed to grow sheep as its fruit. It was believed the sheep were connected to the plant by an umbilical cord and grazed the land around the plant. When all accessible foliage was gone, both the plant and sheep died.
lamb_plant3.jpglamb_plant2.pnglamb_plant4.jpg

Obviously this is a reference to a cotton tree but it's another lingering lost tale of the Tartarians, similar to tartar sauce. While, tartar sauce is given origin to the French, the French still named it after the Empire.
One plant bears a host of provocative names: the Vegetable Lamb, Lamb of Tartary, Scythian Lamb (or Agnus scythicus), and, scientifically, Cibotium barometz, the species epithet of which, “barometz,” is a Tartarian word for - yes, that’s right - “lamb.”
During the mid-16th Century, an equally influential account of the vegetable lamb appeared, this time penned by the celebrated scholar-diplomat Baron Sigismund von Herberstein (1486-1566), who had twice been the German emperor's ambassador at the Court of Muscovy (a Russian principality centring upon Moscow). In his account, published in 1549 within his magnum opus Notes on Muscovite Affairs, he added several important details, derived from information passed on to him by a number of different Russian sources.

In contrast to the Mandeville description claiming that it lacked wool, the Baron's account stated that the vegetable lamb possessed not only a normal lamb's head with eyes and ears, but also a normal lamb's woolly fleece. Its tiny limbs even sported hooves, though these were exceedingly delicate as they were apparently composed merely of compressed hairs, not the hard horny substance of real lambs' hooves. The lamb was permanently attached to a long stem, comparable to an umbilical cord, which grew vertically to a height of approximately 2.5 ft, thus suspending the lamb high above the ground, but it could apparently use its weight to bend the stem downwards, thereby enabling it to stand and walk upon the ground, and also to graze upon any grass or foliage that was within its reach.
Some reading:
- Lamb of Tartary; Cibotium barometz
- Creature Feature: Lamb of Tartary
- Animal or Vegetable? Legend of the Vegetable Lamb of Tartary; Scientific American
- Fabled 'vegetable lamb' plant contains potential treatment for osteoporosis; ScienceDaily
 

KorbenDallas

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Obviously this is a reference to a cotton tree but it's another lingering lost tale of the Tartarians, similar to tartar sauce.
Too simple of an explanation for something like that, imo. I have never heard of such a thing. It clearly had too prominent of a place in memory of people to earn itself its own name. This one is probably worth of some additional research.
 

dreamtime

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This is the quote where all the images are based on:

There grows there a kind of fruit as big as gourds, and when it is ripe men open it and find inside an animal of flesh and blood and bone, like a little lamb without wool. And the people of that land eat the animal, and the fruit too. It is a great marvel.
It's from some strange guy named Sir John Mandeville and no one really knows if he was real or not. Apparently he was a famous traveler back then, around 1350 or so.

So let's forget about the silly images for a moment and just look at the original quote. Doesn't sound too far off to me. There may be older sources which could clarify what it was all about.
 
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KorbenDallas

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I’ve just read that wolves enjoyed this Tartarian lamb. Sure could not be just a cotton shrub.

791px-Bertuch-fabelwesen.JPG

Illustration from Friedrich Johann Justin Bertuch's picture book for children, circa late 1700s. Clockwise it features a Basilisk, a Roc, a Phoenix, a Dragon, the Vegetable Lamb of Tartary, and a Unicorn.
 

whitewave

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It's supposedly some sort of fern which doesn't match the above descriptions at all. People name plants all sorts of odd things. As a forager, I learned the common names of things before learning the Latin names. Chicken-of-the-woods is a mushroom (tasty!) that actually tastes like chicken and can be cooked in dishes requiring chicken. It looks nothing like a chicken. Same for hen-of-the-woods (another mushroom). Joe Pye weed looks nothing like the Indian guy named Joe Pye who made it famous. Numerous other examples but the point being, can't always go by the common name of a plant to guess it's shape, taste, or anything else about it.
With that said, here's some pics:
Tartary-lamb.jpg

linky Supposed to be the rhizome of the fern Cibotium barometz which may be possible.

Tartary-lamb_2.JPG

Tartary-lamb_3.jpg

This does not look like a lamb to me even with my eyes crossed and mind open to suggestion but this is what wiki says the plant actually is.
Agnus_Scythicus.jpg

Tartary-lamb_4.jpg

actual rhizome of the fern mentioned. The famous forager from eattheweeds.com says this about edible fern rhizomes: "While many ferns species have useable rhizomes only two Nephrolepis have tubers and both are edible, N. cordifolia \N. undulata."
It seems to have medicinal value and MAY be edible. "
The rhizomes contain about 30% starch. They are antiinflammatory, anodyne and vermifuge. They are used in the treatment of rheumatism, lumbago, sciatica, leucorrhoea, dysuria, polyuria in the aged etc. The rhizomes are harvested at the end of the growing season, the smaller roots and yellow hairs are removed then the rhizome is chipped into slices and dried for later use. The root is employed as a tonic in China, where it is said to exercise a special action on the genito-urinary organs. The yellow hairs on the rhizomes contain tannins and are astringent. They are used in poultices on wounds to stop bleeding. The long, silky, yellowish hairs at the base of the fronds cause rapid coagulation of the blood and when properly used are useful for arresting hemorrhages from capillaries.

***That this was the rhizome of an edible/medicinal plant given a common name reminiscent of its physical features makes more sense to me than an animal growing on a stalk***
 

BossesWife

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I found another reference to a plant-animal, Im curious if it’s Tartarian or not.

6C79058A-6828-4A04-870D-7BE3AB2CA576.jpeg

This pic is from the 1552 Cosmographia of Sebastian Münster; goose barnacles ready to turn into barnacle geese.
 

jd755

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This search using the french agneau de tartarie brings up pictures of roast lamb.
agneau de tartarie at DuckDuckGo
This one using lamb of tartary brings up pictures of plants producing animals.
lamb of tartary at DuckDuckGo
This one using the russian тартар из баранины brings up pictures of all manner of meat dishes.
тартар из баранины at DuckDuckGo
This one using the traditional chinese 韃靼羊肉 brings up yet more food bar one.
韃靼羊肉 at DuckDuckGo

This one!
http://cdn3.img.sputniknews.cn/images/101579/19/1015791951.jpg

1015791951.jpg
 

BossesWife

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No problem, I find this interesting for 2 separate reasons; Odd yet interesting connection. I’m from buffalo, ny at Easter time the huge deal with our Polish/German, those of Slavic decent family’s basically have to get these butter lambs -it’s absolutely must and its inspected to be perfect as well- now in another thread I believe on this site, I saw that the Tartary were as well expert butter makers. Butter lamb shown below

Other reason I’m curious; how exactly were the plant-animal species (taking it as literal the written accounts suggest) now could it along with various others become extinct after the many catalysmics and wars? Since I’ve seen on other threads suggesting that they were a breatharians species but I wonder if also; vegetarian an perhaps maybe the rest of us had more herbivore diets708D6B50-2E60-44D9-89B3-47ED628AEA95.jpeg
 
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anotherlayer

anotherlayer

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No problem, I find this interesting for 2 separate reasons; Odd yet interesting connection. I’m from buffalo, ny at Easter time the huge deal with our Polish/German, those of Slavic decent family’s basically have to get these butter lambs -it’s absolutely must and its inspected to be perfect as well- now in another thread I believe on this site, I saw that the Tartary were as well expert butter makers. Butter lamb shown below

Other reason I’m curious; how exactly were the plant-animal species (taking it as literal the written accounts suggest) now could it along with various others become extinct after the many catalysmics and wars? Since I’ve seen on other threads suggesting that they were a breatharians species but I wonder if also; vegetarian an perhaps maybe the rest of us had more herbivore dietsView attachment 15576
Oh no, another Buffalonian, welcome! We have a handful of great Buffalo threads. Woohoo!

IMG_20190119_085319.jpg
 

BossesWife

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Oh no, another Buffalonian, welcome! We have a handful of great Buffalo threads. Woohoo!

View attachment 15584
y h

Why hello there! Yup born and raised out near Lewiston area. Oh I can imagine, definitely a lot of hidden history here. World war 2 we had the prisoners of war working in our apple and grape orchards, hence the German population. Alden ny was famous for their black water mineral rich bathhouses, Also bond lake or actually bond(S) lake(S)! Yup there 5 other lakes hidden (actually they were old limestone quarries that flooded in when hitting underground water source) I believe there’s a paranormal superstation that correlates with the tuscarora people, who are originally from North Carolina and Skudakumooch ghost witch or bell witch. Not mention ley lines and a ton Tartarian Church’s there’s no doubt the Western New York area is spiritual and special.. at least in my opinion lol
 

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