'ALOE' - AGAVE FROM THE CASTLE GARDEN AT GLOGÓWEK ('Aloes' - agawa z ogrodu zamkowego w Glogoówku)
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Situated in the Duchy of Opole and Raciborz, Glogówek (Glogovia Minor, Glogovia Superior, Oberglogau, Klein Glogau or Kraut Glogau) belonged to the end of the 16th century to the Oppersdorff family. In the 17th century the local castle was regarded as one of the most beautiful and best fortified in Silesia. Close to the castle was a garden planted with rare fruit trees and flowers among which there was also an 'aloe' (agave). It provoked a comprehensible article on aloes in general published in the first in the world journal for scientific medicine 'Miscellanea Curiosa Medico-Physica Academiae Naturae Curiosorum sive Ephemeridum medicophysicarum Germanicarum curiosarum' that started to be issued in Leipzig in 1670. The author of the article was the initiator and editor of Miscellanea, Philipp Jacob Sachs von Lowenheim (Lewenheimb). The authoress of the article, following the abovementioned text, discusses various meanings of the term “aloe” and describes the specimens of the plant cultivated in Europe. The one from Glogówek - in her opinion - was planted in 1631, but to 1662 was infertile, then it shot a 18-foot tall stalk that developed 21 branches with 208 flowers each - later on, it was preserved in a dried form as a curiosum. The article is illustrated by an engraving presenting the 'aloe' in a decorated box with the Oppersdorffs' coat of arms and initials. In honour of the Oppersdorff family and their aloe, Sachs composed a Latin poem. According to modern classification, the American 'aloe' from Glogówek belonged to the family of amaryllidaceous Agave americana and was first described and nammed by Carl Linnaeus in his 1753 edition of Species Plantarum.
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