Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

A Fresh Rhizome of Cimifuga Racemosa
  • J. Augustus Knapp
  • A Fresh Rhizome of Cimifuga Racemosa, date unknown
  • Drugs and Medicines of North America; a Quarterly Devoted to the Historical and Scientific Discussion of the Botany, Pharmacy, Chemistry and the Therapeutics of the Medicinal Plants of North America, their Constituents, Products and Sophistications
  • Not on display
  • EL2009.028
  • Loan: Not in the Spencer's collection
Label Text

Exhibition Label:
"Trees & Other Ramifications: Branches in Nature & Culture," Mar-2009, Steve Goddard
“Rhizome” is the botanical name for the spreading rootstocks (or subterannean stems) that lead to multiple plants above ground. Good examples of plants with rhizomes include crabgrass, ginger, and iris. In Postmodern thought, writers and critics such as Gilles Deleuze (1925-1995) and Félix Guattari (1930-1992) have supplanted the tree as a visual metaphor with the rhizome, noting that while the tree metaphor relies on a vertical hierarchical structure with a central focus, the rhizome suggests a horizontal and non-hierarchical structure that is given to multiple points of focus that are richly interconnected.