Mysterious Cucubalus » Detail from The Unicorn is Killed and Brought to the Castle

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Detail from The Unicorn is Killed and Brought to the Castle

Detail from the foreground of The Unicorn is Killed and Brought to the Castle showing the catchfly in flower and fruit.

While some flowers are depicted repeatedly throughout the Unicorn Tapestries, others, including Cucuballus baccifer, appear only once. It is not represented in other tapestries in the Museum’s collection, nor have I seen it depicted in other works of medieval art. The reason for its presence in the foreground of The Unicorn is Killed and Brought to the Castle is a mystery, as I haven’t been able to discover any folkloric or medicinal attributes that account for its inclusion.

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