Mandrake is the common name for members of the plant genus Mandragora belonging to the nightshades family (Solanaceae). Their roots, because their curious bifurcations cause them to have a semblance to the human figure (male & female), have long been used in magic rituals, today also in neopagan religions such as Wicca and Germanic revivalism religions such as Odinism.
The mandrake, Mandragora officinarum, is a plant called by the Arabs luffâh, or beid el-jinn (i.e. genie's eggs). The parsley-shaped root is often branched. Magicians mould this root into a rude resemblance to the human figure, by pinching a constriction a little below the top, so as to make a kind of head and neck, and twisting off the upper branches except two, which they leave as arms, and the lower, except two, which they leave as legs. This root gives off at the surface of the ground a rosette of ovate-oblong to ovate, wrinkled, crisp, sinuate-dentate to entire leaves, 6 to 16 in. long, somewhat resembling those of the tobacco-plant. There spring from the neck a number of one-flowered nodding peduncles, bearing whitish-green flowers, nearly 2 in. broad, which produce globular, succulent, orange to red berries, resembling small tomatoes, which ripen in late spring.