Mandrake, Devil's Apple, Dudaim, Love Apple

Mandragora officinarum

Family: Solanaceae (so-lan-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Mandragora (man-DRAG-or-uh) (Info)
Species: officinarum (off-ik-IN-ar-um) (Info)
Synonym:Atropa mandragora
Synonym:Mandragora officinalis


Alpines and Rock Gardens



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:


White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer




Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:

Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:


Birmingham, Alabama

Emeryville, California

Los Gatos, California

Winter Haven, Florida

New Orleans, Louisiana

Elmira, New York

Columbus, Ohio

Grants Pass, Oregon

Leesburg, Virginia

Seattle, Washington (2 reports)

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 9, 2015, Henzelli from Columbus, OH wrote:

I started ten mandrakes from seed with a two week stratification. After two months, I was ready to throw all of the seed starters away (the little peat pods) and noticed one of them was starting to give off leaves and the other had a two-inch rootlet sticking out of the bottom and drilling into a neighboring pod (but no leaves). The rest of the pods had nothing going on, so I potted the two that were germinating. I forgot about them going dormant and losing all their leaves by August (zone 6 here), so when they both turned sickly brown and disappeared I gave up hope and thought I'd shop around for living plants for next year.

On a whim I decided to dig up the roots to see how big they'd gotten or if they had rotted and discovered six-inch healthy root systems. So I've brough... read more


On Apr 6, 2015, Ted_B from Birmingham, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

Germination tips:
- Store seeds in refrigerator 60 days.
- Remove seeds and soak in water at room temperature for 24h.
- Sow in deep cells with seeding mix (sphagnum/perlite) just under the surface, keep moist. Seedlings should be planted into their final positions as soon as practical.

Be wary when purchasing seeds, as one experienced Ebay seller from Houston, TX sold me radish seeds (similar in appearance) advertised as M. officinarum seeds ($10), only to disavow responsibility when the emerging radishes were brought to his attention.


On Apr 29, 2012, twinger from Harbeck-Fruitdale, OR wrote:

I started growing Mandrake two years ago after buying some seeds from an online vendor. after speeding up the germination process in my fridge for two weeks, I planted three different pots at 3 different times, and out of those three pots only one plant survived. they are very picky buggers. I have one root that came up a year ago which I have planted in a 3ft tall sewer pipe. it has lost its leaves now three times in that year, last week was the third time. I am contemplating on weather I should dig it up, and change the soil to a more sandy, loomy, peaty soil? the soil it is in now has given me the best results so far as it has grown healthy from 11/27/2011 to 4/26/2012 a little over four months. does anyone have a thought on this?


On Mar 1, 2010, paracelsus from Elmira, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:

I've grown mandrakes for many years. They are difficult to germinate, although I have developed a method using cold water soaks that speeds up germination some. I have also grown them from root pieces--the brittleness of the roots indicates to me that the plant favors such propagation--but they can lie dormant for months before sending up any growth at all. Once I threw a piece out and it sent up leaves in my compost pile about 8 months later. They also like to go dormant at inconvenient times. For instance, this year all my mandrakes went dormant about a month after I brought them out of the house for the winter and put them in shade outside. They stayed dormant most of the summer and then started growing in November. The larger ones, which were the only ones that didn't go dormant, flowe... read more


On Nov 12, 2009, SLIVERMOON22 from Oakhurst, NJ wrote:


This will be an out of the box posting.

My 19 year old son suffers from insomnia (he is bipolar) and has been on Lunesta, which has some nasty side effects. Though, it puts him to sleep. He is afraid to go off of it because sleep is too important for his functioning.

I am a professional dowser (pendulum) and use the pendulum to dowse for mostly health related issues. I had never heard of this plant before, but used my homeopathic list to dowse for a alt remedy.

I have a listing of 1500 homeopathic medicines.

The number it gave me pointed to this plant for remedy.
I just bought some and will ask him to try it. I will hopefully remember to come back here and let you know.

I trust th... read more


On Aug 6, 2009, tyler70006 from New Orleans, LA wrote:

I grew some from seeds purchased from an on-line vendor. Out of 10 seeds I got 4 plants. They did take 15 days for the first to sprout and 30 days for the last one. The first summer they grew to about 4 inches and dropped their leaves around October. They started to grow again around April then quickly dropped their leaves again. I believe they do not like our very hot weather in New Orleans, So I brought them inside near a west facing window. They started to grow again after one week in the A/C. So far they seem to be doing great. They are all in one large pot and I water them once a week. Overall a very interesting plant for a gardener that wants to try something unusual. I believe you will not see them available at too many places nor will you see them in many peoples colle... read more


On Jul 21, 2006, Rauthulfr from Renton, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Mandragora is an odd plant, it spends most of the year underground. There are both Spring and Fall varieties. The 'Spring' leaves begin to develop in about March here (area 9). By August, they cannot be seen any more.

I got both varieties as live plants. They have done quite well protected from both too much sun and cold. The leaves can run up to about 5 inches wide and about a foot or so long when fully mature.

After about ten years in one pot, I transplanted it to a deeper one. Ancient and medieval herbal lore credits the root with a fully mature depth of three feet! In ten years I can only give it about a foot in length. I did use a mixture which included some potting soil mixed in with the rather sandy clay of our local yard soil.

In... read more


On May 18, 2006, NiGHTS from Los Gatos, CA wrote:

I have grown mandrake for several years and had mixed experiences. I love the plant, but it is definitely a picky prima donna, and the Bay Area region of California doesn't seem to be the best place to grow it. In my area, the plant does best if potted in deep pots, as it develops an extremely long root system (the root can grow over 4 feet long!). The main root system sends out a thin probing root and will stop growing when the probe senses the bottom of the container; so the deeper, the better (an old garbage can, or something thinner, but with a similar depth, would be ideal - but at a bare minimum, 12" of depth).

Where I am, I have never gotten fruit, or even flowers from my mandrakes. Leaves grow upwards quickly and then flatten out. The leaves will remain green fo... read more


On Oct 28, 2001, Baa wrote:

A rosette forming perennial from Southern Europe.

Has wrinkled, ovate or lance shaped, wavy edged, dark green leaves which lie flat on the ground. Bears bell shaped, white sometimes purple flowers borne in clusters in the centre of the leaves and small yellow fruit.

Flowers anywhere between October - April but more commonly seen in the Spring.

Likes a well drained, deep, fertile soil in full sun. It hates to be disturbed from the soil.


This plant has a long history in medicine as it was one of the first plants used for its narcotic properties.

It is cur... read more