cal·a·mint (kal´ə mint´) n. any of several aromatic perennial herbs of the genus Calamintha Mill. (of the Lamiaceae), native to Europe and the Mediterranean, often bearing nodal whorls of flowers which are a mixture of white, pink, and mauve. [ME < OF calament < Med.L calamentum < LL calaminthe < Gk. kalaminthē καλαμίνθη; ? < kalos καλός beautiful + mintha μίνθα mint]
cal·a·mus (kal´ə məs) n. -mi. 1 sweet calamus; sweet flag. 2 the aromatic rhizome of this plant, occasionally used to prepare medicine and, sometimes, candy. Its constituents have some effect as an expectorant, as well as an anti-spasmodic and analgesic. [ME < L calamus reed < Gk. kalamos κάλαμος stalk, reed]
cal·ce·o·late (kal´sē ə lāt´ or -ō lāt´) adj. having the form of a slipper, as in the labellum of many orchids. [< L calceolus small shoe, slipper + -ātus provided with]
cal·ci·cole (kal´si kōl´) n. adj. —n. a plant or taxon which thrives when growing in calcareous substrates, but which suffers from exposure to acidic substrates. —adj. of or pertaining to this growth preference. [< L calcis lime, calcium + colo inhabit] —cal´ci·co´lous, adj.
cal·ci·fuge (kal´si fūzh´) n. adj. —n. a plant or taxon which thrives when growing in acidic substrates, but which suffers from exposure to calcium. —adj. of or pertaining to this growth preference. [< L calcis lime, calcium + fugio flee] —cal´ci·fu´gal, adj. —cal´ci·fu´gous, adj.
callery pear n. a species of pear tree (Pyrus calleryana Decne., of the Rosaceae), native to China, Vietnam, Korea, and Japan. It is of modest size, and bears abundant white blossoms (said to be malodourous), producing small woody fruits if it bears any at all (some cultivars are infertile). [< Joseph-Marie Callery (1810-62), historian]
Cam·bri·an (kām´brē ən) adj. in geology, of or pertaining to a period of the Palæozoic era, 570 to 505 million years ago, characterised by the advent of terrestrial life forms. —n. in geology: a the period at the beginning of the Palæozoic era coming between the Precambrian era and the Ordovician period. b the rocks formed during this period. [< Med.L Cambria Wales (< Welsh Cymry Wales, Welshmen) + -an provenance]
cam·wood (kam´wu̇d) n. 1 a tree native to west Africa (Pterocarpus soyauxii Taub., of the Fabaceae: Papilionoideae), which yields a hard reddish wood. 2 the wood of this tree, used in fabrication of various household items. [? < Temne]
Canadian tuckahoe n. the hard pseudosclerotium of Polyporus tuberaster (Jacq.) Fr. (of the Polyporales), which yields an edible basidioma; stone fungus; tuckahoe.
cane·brake (kān´brāk´) n. a portion of terrain which is densely covered by cane. [< ME cane + brake]
ca·pi·tate (ka´pi tāt´) adj. bearing a head-like structure, such as a capitulum. [< L capitātus headed, having a head]
ca·pit·u·lar (ka pit´ū lėr) adj. 1 of or pertaining to a capitulum. 2 capitate. [< Med.L capitulāris < L capitulum small head + -āris adjectival suffix following ‘l’]
car·da·mom (kär´də məm) n. an herb belonging to either Elettaria Maton or Amomum Roxb. (both of the Zingiberaceae), and from whose aromatic seeds can be fabricated a spice or medicinal masticant. The principal commercial source of cardamom is E. cardamomum Maton, native to India and Bhutan. [ME < OF cardamome < L cardamomum < Gk. kardamōmon καρδάμωμον < kardamon κάρδαμον cress + amōmon ἄμωμον a spice plant]
car·om (kär´əm) n. any of various related species of the genera Trachyspermum Link, Sison L., and Carum L. (all of the Apiaceae), and native to ranges in Africa, the middle east, and central Asia; ajowan. All produce fruits bearing oils rich in thymol, and are of use in medicine and as spice. [? < Marathi]
car·o·tene (kãr´ə tēn´) n. any of a group of three organic isomers (C40H56) which form orange or red pigments, and which are common in plant structures – among them the carrot. [< G < L carota carrot (< Gk. karōton καρωτόν) + -ēnus pertaining to (< Gk. -ēnos -ηνος)]
catkin yew n. any species of the small genus Amentotaxus Pilg. (of the Taxaceae), shrubs or small trees native to subtropical southeast Asia bearing subacute linear leaves attached in decussate pairs but with petioles twisting to dorsiventrally dispose them to the two lateral sides of each branch.
cat’s ear (kats´ēr´) n. any of several species of the genus Hypochaeris L. (of the Asteraceae), which somewhat resemble dandelion by their rosette of basal leaves and bright yellow inflorescences.
cat’s-foot n. a perennial shrub native to northwest Europe (Antennaria dioica (L.) Gaertn., of the Asteraceae), growing from a creeping woody stem but generating rosettes of small obovate leaves green above and white tomentose below, and an upright white-tomentose flowering stem with a close umbel of pale pink capitula; everlasting.
cat’s-tail n. any of the several species of Phleum L. (of the Poaceae), annual or perennial coarse grasses with an inflorescence suggesting the tail of a cat – consisting of a dense spike of closely-packed spikelets.
cau·di·cle (ko´di kəl) n. caudicula.
cau·di·cu·la (ko´di´kū lə) n. -læ. in familia Orchidaceae, the thin strand which connects pollinia to the viscidium, derived from tissue inside the anthers, and akin to the translator of dicot familiæ; caudicle. [NL < L caudiculus small stem]
cau·lome (kôl´ōm) n. the stem structure of a plant, in its entirety. [< Gk. kaulos καυλός stem + -ōma a mass or part] —cau·lom´ic, adj.
cau·lo·ne·ma (kôl´ə nē´mə) n. -ma·ta. a later stage in the development of the protonema of true mosses (classis Mnionopsida), being thread-like and growing out of the chloronema, but bearing brownish cell walls and oblique end walls, and having spindle-shaped plastids. [NL < Gk. kaulos καυλός stem + nēma νῆμα thread]
Cavendish banana n. a variety of distinct species and cultivars of bananas which generate long edible yellow fruits (largely represented by Musa acuminata Colla, and its many hybrid and polyploid offspring, of the Musaceae), native to Cochin China. [< William Cavendish (1790-1858), 6th Duke of Devonshire, and founder of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, who introduced a commercial trade in offspring of his cultivar]
celery-leaved pine n. tanekaha. [descriptive]
celery pine n. any of the trees and shrubs of the genus Phyllocladus Rich. ex Mirb. (of the Phyllocladaceae), which bear foliage consisting largely of simple or compound phylloclades, and are native to New Zealand, Australia, and southeast Asia. [< celery-leaved pine]
cell (sel) n. in biology, generally the smallest structural and functional unit of a living organism, comprising cytoplasm and genetic material enclosed within a membrane. [OE < OF celle < L cella chamber]
cel·lu·lar (sel´yə lər) adj. 1 of or pertaining to living cells. 2 containing a number of cells; porous. [< F cellulaire < NL cellulāris < L cellula small chamber] —cel´lu·lar´i·ty, n.
cel·lule (sel´yül) n. a particularly small cell. [F < L cellula small chamber]
cen·tau·ry (sen tô´rē) n. -ries. any of various species of the tonic and astringent herbal genus Centaurium Hill (of the Gentianaceae), native to Eurasia, as well as of the closely-related genera Gyrandra Griseb., Schenkia Griseb., and Zeltnera G.Mans. (all of the Gentianaceae). [ME < LL centaurea < Gk. kentauros κένταυρος centaur; myth relates that the centaur Chiron discovered its medicinal properties]
ce·re·al (si´rē əl) n.adj. —n. 1 a caryopsis which is used as a food source. 2 any plant of the Poaceae which is cultivated for use of its seed as food. 3 a preparation of ingredients containing food grains or their flour, and eaten as a breakfast dish. —adj. of or pertaining to any food grain. [< F céréale < L Cereālis pertaining to Ceres]
ce·re·a·list (si´rē ə list) n. 1 a person who studies ecology of cereal crops, to better their cultivation. 2 a person who advocates for a diet of grains.
Ce·res (sē´rēz) n. a pre-Roman goddess of agriculture, later assimilated to the Greek Demeter. [? < Proto-Indo-European ker grow]
ce·rise (sã rēz´) adj. a bright red, or a deep red, either or both likened to the colour of ripe cherries. [< F cerise cherry]
cer·nu·ous (ser´nū əs or sãr´-) adj. 1 of a leaf, drooping. 2 of a flower, nodding. [< L cernuus inclined forwards + -osus pertaining to, prone to]
cham·pi·on¹ (cham´pē ən or -pē on) n. a flower, fruit, or entire plant which wins an award for its form in a competition. —adj. excellent, prize-winning. [< OF < LL campiō(nis) winner, victor < L campus field, battlefield]
cham·pi·on² (cham´pē ən or -pē on) n. Obs. an expanse of level open ground lacking hills or forest, or fences. [< OF champagne countryside]
char·o·phyte (Ha´rə fīt´) n. any of the stoneworts, a group of green algae constituting the classis Charophyceae, having a jointed body resembling a vascular plant, frequently encrusted with calcium carbonate, and usually attached to a substrate in fresh water. [< NL Chara L. (of the Characeae) (< Gk. charis χάρις grace) + Gk. phyton φυτόν plant]
chase (chās) n. an unfenced wood, consisting of terrain used at one time for hunting animals. [ME < OF chace, ult. < L capere take]
chi·a (chē´ä) n. an annual herb (Salvia hispanica L., of the Lamiaceae) native to Mexico and Guatemala, and now cultivated in many tropical and subtropical locales, which provides mild-flavoured edible seeds valued for fibre and their nutritional benefits. Certain other species of Salvia L. are also called chia. [< Sp. < Nahuatl chian oily]
chick·pea (chik´pē´) n. 1 the round, edible seed of a widely cultivated plant of the legume family; garbanzo. 2 the plant itself (Cicer arietinum L., of the Fabaceae: Papilionoideae). [< E chiche-pease < ME chiche < OF chiche, cice < L cicer chickpea]
chi·mæ·rism or chi·me·rism (kHi´mėr izəm´) n. the state of existence of an individual, either through grafting or by relatively natural means, with tissues of more than a single genetic identity. [< Gk. chímaira χίμαιρα she-goat + -ismos -ισμος a state or condition]
Chinese artichoke n. 1 a perennial herb native to China (Stachys affinis Bunge, of the Lamiaceae), bearing an edible tuber. 2 the convoluted edible root of this plant.
Chinese lantern n. any of a variety of natural and hybrid species of the genus Abutilon Mill. (especially A. ×-hybridum Voss, of the Malvaceae), ranging from herbs to trees but usually subshrubs, now widely cultivated as a flowering plant notable for its colourful inflated and fused calices, within which the fruit – a globular schizocarp – is usually borne.
chin·qua·pin (ching´kə pin´) n. 1 any representative of the genus Chrysolepis Hjelmq. (of the Fagaceae), native to the western US coast, or of the much larger genus Castanopsis (D.Don) Spach., of the Fagaceae), native to subtropical and tropical Asia; both of which grow as nut-bearing shrubs or trees. 2 a small chestnut tree or shrub (Castanea pumila (L.) Mill., of the Fagaceae), native to southeastern North America. 3 the nuts of either of these trees. 4 any of several oak trees (Quercus muehlenbergii Engelm., Q. prinoides Willd. in Muhl., and perhaps others, all of the Fagaceae), all of which grow in the eastern US. 5 the hardwood of any of these species. [< Virginia Algonquian chechinquamins]
chive (chīv) n. 1 a tufted perennial herb from boreal temperate calcareous grasslands (Allium schoenoprasum L., of the Alliaceae), now cultivated. It bears a dense umbel of pale pink-purple flowers, and grows from a bulb. 2 the edible linear, terete, hollow leaf of this species, often added as flavouring to cooked dishes. [E < F cive < L cepa onion]
chlo·ro·ne·ma (klô´rə nē´mə) n. -ma·ta. an early stage in the development of the protonema of true mosses (classis Mnionopsida), being thread-like and growing out of the spore, but bearing clear cell walls and perpendicular end walls, and having lenticular chloroplasts. [NL < Gk. chlōros χλωρός pale green + nēma νῆμα thread]
Chlorophon n. in an episode of the TV show Fireball XL5 (entitled “Plant Man from Space”, written by Anthony Marriott), a humaniform ivy capable of inducing abnormal uncontrolled growth in a fictional ivy cultivar. Its creator, Dr. Roots, is reputed to have taken the Ivy League “too seriously.”
chlo·ro·plast (klô´rə plast´) n. a plastid containing chlorophyll, which may occur solitarily or in numbers in cells of eukaryotic algæ and higher plants. The plastid is bound by a double membrane, and, while usually disc-shaped in higher plant cells, may assume a variety of forms in algal cells. Also, chloroplastid (klō´rə plas´tid). [< Gk. chlōros χλωρός pale green + plastos πλαστός molded, formed] —chlo´ro·plas´tic, adj.
cho·ri·pet·al·ous (kHôr´i pet´ə ləs) adj. of organisms or their flowers, bearing separate distinct petals; polypetalous. [< Gk. khōri χωρί᾽ apart + petalon πέταλον leaf + L -osus prone to]
cho·ro·lo·gy (kHō räl´ə jē) n. 1 the study of the natural distribution of organisms. 2 the study of causal relations between geographic events in a particular region. [< G Chorologie < Gk. chôros χῶρος region, country + logos λόγος word or discourse] —cho·ro·log´i·cal, adj. —cho·ro´lo·gist, n.
chro·ma·to·phore (krō ma´tə fôr´) n. 1a in eukaryotes, a chloroplast or other chromoplast. b in prokaryotes, a pigment-bearing molecular organelle associated with photosynthesis. 2 in zoology, a flexible deformable cell containing pigment, which can provide variable colour patterns to a cephalopod. [NL < Gk. chrōmatos χρώματος surface of the body, colour + phoros φόρος
bearing] —chro·mat´o·phor´ic, adj. —chro·mat´o·phor´ous, adj.
chro·mo·phore (krō´mə fôr´) n. a chemical group, part of a larger organic compound, which is responsible for the selective reflection and absorption of wavelengths of light; colour radical. [NL < Gk. chrōma χρῶμα colour + phoros φόρος bearing]
chro·mo·phor·ic (krō´mə fôr´ik) adj. 1 of or pertaining to a chromophore. 2 of or pertaining to cellular organelles or organisms which cause use or production of colour. [NL < Gk. chrōma χρῶμα colour + phoros φόρος bearing + -ikos -ικος belonging to, relating to]
chro·mo·plast (krō´mə plast´) n. in eucaryotic plant cells, a plastid containing pigments but not chlorophyll; chromatophore. Also, chromoplastid (krō´mə plas´tid). [NL < Gk. chrōma χρῶμα colour + plastos πλαστός molded, formed]
chro·nic·i·ty (kro nis´i tē) n. 1 the pattern of temporal and/or seasonal occurrence of a recurring action. 2 the strictness of adherence to a projected temporal pattern. [< OF chronique (< L chronicus < Gk. chronikós χρονικός relating to time) + F -ité (< L -itas degree, instance, passage)]
chucky-chucky n. Aust. the edible berry of a plant (Gaultheria hispida R.Br., of the Ericaceae) native to Australia and New Zealand. [indigenous name]
cinnamon root n. ploughman’s-spikenard; great fleabane.
cir·cum·nu·ta·tion (sėr´kəm nū tā´shən) n. an overall circular swaying movement of a growing shoot tip; nutation. [< L circum around + nutātio- (< nūtāre nod)]
clar·y (klā´rē) n. any of numerous sage-scented perennial herbs of the genus Salvia L. (of the Lamiaceae), mainly those native to Europe and employed as a source of an essential oil used in perfumery as well as in medicine. It was previously employed as an eye-wash, and as a tonic and anti-spasmodic. [ME clare, sclari (< OE slarege) < OF clairie < Med.L sclarea < L claurus clear]
clary sage n. the essential oil of clary, derived from upper flowering parts and leaves of Salvia sclarea L. (of the Lamiaceae), native to the region of Italy and Syria.
clas·ping (klas´ping) adj. of a leaf blade or similar structure, extending upwards and enfolding the stem; amplexicaule. [< ME claspen to clasp]
cleav·ers (klē´vərz) n. a widespread ruderal herb (Galium aparine L., of the Rubiaceae), native to boreal Eurasia and America, bearing its narrow oblanceolate leaves in opposite pairs, but these pairs appear as a whorl of the equivalent blades and stipules; goosegrass. It bears retrorse hairs upon its leaves, allowing it to attach to substrates, and is renowned for creeping along the ground and over adjoining vegetation. It has medicinal properties, and its dried fruit can be used as a coffee substitute. [OE clīfe cleave, attach to]
clin·an·thi·um (klin an´thē əm) n. -thi·a. the receptacle of the compound inflorescence found in familia Asteraceae; clinium. [NL < Gk. klinē κλίνῃ bed + anthos ἄνθος flower + -ion -ιον diminutive suffix]
cling·stone (kling´stōn´) adj. of certain drupes, possessing a stone to which the mesocarp attaches firmly. Examples include certain peaches, as well as mangoes.
cli·ni·um (klin´ē əm) n. -ni·a. the receptacle of the compound inflorescence found in familia Asteraceae; clinanthium. [NL < Gk. klinē κλίνῃ bed + -ion -ιον diminutive suffix]
clone (klōn) n. v.t. —n. 1 a group of offspring individuals collectively produced asexually from a single parental individual, or stock, or from a cell culture derived from the parental individual, and thus sharing the genotype of that parent; clone swarm. 2 a single individual produced in such a way from a parental individual or culture. —v.t. 1 propagate a mature and genetically identical organism or organisms from a parental stock or cell culture. 2 in biochemistry, replicate a DNA or RNA fragment for codon analysis or protein production. [< E clon < Gk. klōn κλών branch, twig] —clo´nal, adj.
clone swarm n. a collective term for a large number of individuals which are produced asexually from a single parental individual, or stock, or from a cell culture derived from the parental individual, and thus share the genotype of that parent; genet. This term is generally employed with reference to studies of distributional and ecological factors impinging upon the clone.
close (klōs or klōz) n. 1 a field; park. 2 the grounds immediately surrounding a cathedral or other prominent building. [ME < OF clos confined < L clausum enclosure]
closed (klōzd) adj. 1 lacking spaces between elements: a closed inflorescence. 2 enfolded. 3 of vascular bundles, lacking cambial tissue in the mature state.
cob (kob) n. the central, densely-fibrous part of an ear of corn, upon which the kernels grow; corncob. A spike, rather than a spikelet. [ME cob sturdy]
coch·i·neal (kōch´ə nēl´) n. 1 a scarlet dye (known as crimson) which is obtained from the Mexican scale insect Dactylopius coccus Costa (of the Homoptera), cultivated upon the nopal cactus. Other species also used in dye may be cultivated upon other prickly pear cactuses. 2 the insect itself. 3 a similar dye produced from scale insect species living upon a Mediterranean oak; kermes. [< Fr. cochenille < Sp. cochinilla < L coccinus scarlet < Gk. kokkos κόκκος berry]
cochineal cactus n. nopal.
co·here (kō hēr´) v.i. of similar tissues or parts, whether of a single organism or of two or more distinct ones, stick together. [< L cohærere < co- together + hærere stick] —co·he´rent, adj. —co·he´sion, n.
-cole (kōl) comb.form., suffix. 1 a plant or taxon which thrives when growing in the substrate indicated by the prefix, but which suffers from exposure to its opposite. 2 of or pertaining to this growth preference. [< L colo inhabit] —-co´lous, adj.
co·le·us (kō´lē əs) n. any of a number of herbs, formerly of the genus Coleus Lour. (of the Lamiaceae) and now divided among Plectranthus L’Hér. and Solenostemon Thonn. (both of the Lamiaceae), principally of tropical habitats in Africa and in Asia. They tend to exhibit maculate opposite leaf blades, and are commonly grown as house plants. [NL < Gk. koleos κολεος sheath, referring to the basal cohesion of the stamens]
col·lar (kol´ər) n. 1 that portion of a plant where the stem and root coalesce. 2 in ferns of suborder Hydropteridineae Rothwell & Stockey, a circular outer formation upon the megaspore cell wall, three or four in number, upon which hydrodynamic floats are attached. The floats may be sessile, or upon a columella. [< ME < OF colier < L collare band for the neck]
col·loid (kol´oid´) n. 1 a homogeneous substance comprised of large molecules (submicroscopic particles), often ionic, suspended in another material such as water. The particles are of a size such as to preclude the possibility of filtration. 2 a single one of these suspended particles; micelle. [< L kolla glue + NL -oides, a contraction of Gk. -oeidos -οειδος a thing that is like] —col´loi´dal, adj.
colour radical n. chromophore.
col·pus (kōl´pəs) n. -pi (-pē or -pī). an oblong to elliptic pore and fold in the exine of a pollen grain, the germinal furrow. [< LL colpus hit, strike (? < Gk. kolpos κόλπος bosom, breast)]
colts·foot n. -foots. 1 any of several related genera of perennial herbs (Tussilago L. and Homogyne Cass., both of the Asteraceae), characterised by early upright scaly flowering stems followed by a basal rosette of large simple leaves. 2 a remedy for coughs and respiratory complaints, occasionally prepared from T. farfara L., native to exposed mineral substrates of Europe. [ME < Med.L pes pulli foal’s foot]
co·ma·ret (kō´mä´rət) n. a sprawling shrub native to circumboreal river and lake shores (Comarum palustre L., of the Rosaceae), bearing palmatipinnate compound leaves similar to those of the cinquefoil and unusual purple calyx and corolla; marshlocks. [< Gk. komaros κόμαρος arbutus]
com·bine (kom´bīn´) n. an agricultural machine which cuts grain, threshes and winnows it to harvest all in a simpler process. [< E combine harvester]
com·mon (kom´ən) adj. n. —adj. 1 frequently occurring, widespread, often found. 2 of a genus, the most widespread or typical species. 3 of a characteristic, shared by. —n. a tract of land pertaining to a community, and open to shared use by all residents. [ME < OF comun < L communis ordinary, joint; public place] —com´mon·ness, n.
com·part·men·tal·ise or com·part·men·tal·ize (kəm pärt´men´təl īz´) v.t. of tissue, divide into sections or compartments. This can be a response to infection by a fungal parasite, generating impervious cell walls around the site of infection. [< E compartmental + -ize (< Gk. -izo -ιζο the doing of a thing, verbal suffix)] —com·part·men´tal·i·sa´tion, n. —com·part·men´tal·i·za´tion, n.
con·fir·ma·vit (kon´fēr mä´vit) n. 1 of herbarium specimens, the name of an expert who has confirmed the original identification, written upon an annotation slip. 2 an annotation slip used for this purpose. Annotation slips of this kind must be dated, and may include additional notations. [L cōnfirmāvit confirmed]
con·for·ming (kon fôr´ming) adj. of species ranges: related and/or similar in extent and outline. [< ME confourmen (< MF conformer < L confōrmāre to shape) + E -ing participial adjective suffix]
convar. Abbrev. convarietas; convariety.
con·va·ri·e·tas (kon´vä´rē ā´təs) n. -ta·tis. a secondary rank of taxon for a group of cultivars, ranking below species (or interspecific hybrid) and above cultivar; convariety. It is often used to cluster similarities in features of appearance, such as leaf form or conformation of the inflorescence. [L con- with + varietas variety, difference, mottled appearance]
con·va·ri·e·ty (kon´və rī´ə tē) n. -ties. a secondary rank of taxon for a group of cultivars, ranking below species (or interspecific hybrid) and above cultivar; convarietas. [< L con- with + varietas (< varius various)]
coral necklace n. an annual prostrate herb native to western Europe (Illecebrum verticillatum L., of the Illecebraceae), bearing opposite ovate stipulate leaves subtending whorls of tiny flowers with 5 showy white hooded succulent sepals. It tends to grow in damp open ground, often near a pond or trackway.
cork tree n. 1 any species of the genus Phellodendron Rupr. (of the Rutaceae), native to eastern mainland Asia and Japan, which bears imparipinnate leaves with caudate drip tips upon each pinna, and produces thick bark. 2 cork oak.
cor·mel (kôr´məl) n. a small corm growing from – and adjacent to – a mature corm. [< NL cormus corm + L -ellum diminutive suffix]
cor·nic·u·late (kôr ni´kū lāt or -ū lət) adj. 1 bearing small horns, or horn-like enations. 2 resembling a small horn. [< L corniculātus bearing small horn]
corn-salad n. an edible herb (Valerianella locusta (L.) Laterr., of the Valerianaceae), native to Europe and western Asia, and consisting of a dark-green rosette of spatulate leaves; rampion; rapunzel; white potherb.
co·ro·nal (kô rō´nəl) adj. of or pertaining to a corona. [< F < L corōnālis pertaining to a crown]
co·ro·nate (kô rō´nāt´) adj. 1 of a flower, bearing a corona. 2 of a plant, bearing flowers clustered at a node, as in many of the genera of familia Lamiaceae. [< L corona crown + -ātus provided with]
cor·pus·cu·lum (kôr pəs´kū ləm) n. -la. a small central body of a pollinarium, to which are attached the pollinia by means of translators, in such dicot familia as Apocynaceae and Asclepiadaceae. [< L corpusculum a small body]
cos·tus (kos´təs) n. cos·tus. 1 any of numerous species of an herbal genus (Costus L., of the Costaceae), native to tropical forests worldwide. Plants usually bear large ovate entire leaves, and striking spicate inflorescences. The yellow-flowering C. spectabilis is the national flower of Nigeria. 2 an aromatic herb native to the Himalayas (Saussurea costus (Falc.) Lipsch., of the Asteraceae), bearing lyrate leaves and purple inflorescences, and whose bitter root is often used in incense, perfume, and/or medicine. Also, costusroot. [< L costum < Gk. kostos κόστος from the east]
cot·y·loid (kot´i loid´) adj. of an inflorescence, an architecture in which the individual flower is shaped like a cup. [< Gk. kotýlē κοτύλῃ small vessel + -eidos -εἶδος form]
court (kôrt) n. 1 an area of flat ground, surrounded entirely or partially by walls and buildings. It may or may not contain vegetation. 2 a marked flat area outdoors, or within a building, which is used for ball sports such as tennis, or for badminton. It may or may not contain grass as a playing surface. [< OF < L cohors enclosure]
cous·cous (küs´küs) n. 1 the endosperm of crushed durum wheat grains, collected to be steamed, as an ingredient of the steamed grain dish of the same name; semolina. 2 a steamed grain dish developed in Morocco, prepared from a mixture of semolina, as well as stewed meat, beans, vegetables, and hot peppers. [< F < Ar. kuskus < Berber]
cow·bane (kou´bān´) n. any of a number of marsh plants of familia Apiaceae which are toxic to livestock, especially Cicuta virosa L., C. maculata L., and Oxypolis rigidior (L.) Raf. (all of the Apiaceae).
cow·ber·ry (kou´bãr´ē) n. -ries. 1 the mountain cranberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea L. of the Ericaceae), a somewhat upright low shrub native to boreal forest of North America and Europe, as well as adjacent tundra and alpine habitats. 2 the berry of this shrub, said to be superior to commercial cranberries; lingonberry.
crab (krab) n. adj. —n. 1 vernacular name for the wild apple (Pyrus malus L. var. sylvestris L., of the Rosaceae), which is native to northern Europe and characteristically tart and astringent. 2 a stick or cudgel consisting of wood from the crab-tree. 3 a cultivated hybrid crabapple tree, or its fruit. 4 a potato-apple. —adj. 1 of or pertaining to a crab. 2 Attrib. resembling a crab in (for example) taste, acidity, or inferiority. [< Scot. scrabbe < Sw. dial. skrabba fruit of wild apple tree]
crab·ap·ple (krab´ap´əl) n. 1 any of many small, sour apples, often somewhat prolate. 2 a tree bearing such apples, deriving from the Eurasian Pyrus malus L. var. sylvestris L., of the Rosaceae, or of its many hybrids. [ME]
crab-grass n. 1 in North America, the vernacular name of a coarse annual ruderal grass (Digitaria sanguinalis (L.) Scop., of the Poaceae, as well as other closely-related species), European in origin but now cosmopolitan, and characterised by their relatively wide leaves and compound racemose inflorescence of tiny grains. It has been used as an edible grain source, but is usually regarded as a weed. 2 knotgrass (Paspalum distichum L., of the Poaceae), also cosmopolitan. 3 glasswort.
crab-harrow n. a harrow, small hoe, or mattock possessing bent teeth and which can be used for tearing up ground, or deeply-ploughed land. —v.t. cultivate (a field) using a crab-harrow. [< LG krabben scratch, claw + ME harwe]
crab-stick n. a stick of the crab.
crack (krak) v.i. 1 of cabbage or other vegetable products, split open when overmature; split. 2 of stems or treetrunks, split between longitudinal fibres, often due to freezing or torsion. —v.t. break (harvested wheat or corn) into coarse fragments. —n. dry wood useful for lighting a fire. [< OE cracian make an explosive noise < Gmc.]
crack-willow n. a widespread hybrid willow (Salix × fragilis L., of the Salicaceae), derived from S. alba L. and S. euxina I.V.Belyaeva, and noted for its brittle pendant branches; weeping willow. [< E crack split + willow]
cran- comb.form., prefix. said of anything containing, or suggesting, cranberries – often in a combination with some other fruit. [E cranberry (< G Kran crane)]
cra·zy·weed (krā´zē wēd) n. locoweed. [< traslation of Sp. loco insane + OE wēod weed]
creep (krēp) v.i. a of plants in general, grow with stem and branches adpressed to the surface of the ground or to protruding surfaces. b of roots, extend horizontally beneath the soil’s surface, but without attempting to dig deeper. c of soil, move imperceptibly en masse. [< OE créopan]
crep·i·tate (krep´i tāt´) v.i. rustle, make a sound as of crackling. [< L crepitātus, pp. of crepitāre rattle, rustle] —crep´i·tant´, adj. —crep´i·ta´tion, n.
cres·po (kres´pō) adj. of leaves, tightly-curled and crisp. [Sp.]
cri·nate (krī´nāt) adj. having hair; hairy. [< E crinite]
crin·kle·root (krin´kəl rüt´) n. the single species Dentaria incisifolia Eames, as well as many of a closely-related subset of species of genus Cardamine L. (especially the North American C. diphylla (Michx.) Alph.Wood, all of the Brassicaceae), native to North America and Eurasia, and which may bear toothlike enations from their creeping rhizome; pepperroot; toothwort. The rhizome is edible, and has also shown utility for treating certain medical complaints.
cross (kros) v.t. n. —v.t. 1 cross-fertilise; combine gametes from two distinct taxa; produce one or many hybrids. 2 set up conditions to allow allogamy. —n. a hybrid. [< E crossbreed]
cru·ci·ate¹ (krü´sē ət) adj. in the form of a cross. [< L cruciātus cross-shaped]
cru·ci·ate² (krü´sē āt) v.t. mark with crosses. —adj. be marked with crosses. [< L cruciāre cross]
cruck (krək) n. adj. —n. either of a pair of naturally curving beams, split from the distal portion of a tree’s axis, and used to form roofing framework of a house or barn. —adj. of or pertaining to construction of this sort, practiced in Europe of the Mediæval period. [var. of CROOK]
crypt (kript) n. one of a series of deep invaginations on the lower leaf surface of plants of genus Ceanothus L. sectio Cerastes S.Watson (of the Rhamnaceae), where stomata are found. [ME < L crypta < Gk. kryptē κρυπτῇ a vault]
cryp·to·spore (krip´tə spôr´) n. a spore of the liverwort genera, particularly those representing fossil traces of the earliest land plants. These traces exist for the Ordovician period, and perhaps represent genera existing as early as the late Cambrian period. [< Gk. kryptos κρυπτός secret, hidden + spora σπορά seed]
culm² (kulm) n. coal dust, especially that produced from anthracite. [ME, probably deriving in some way from COAL]
cul·ti·vate (kul´ti vāt´) v.t. 1 labour (upon land) to raise crops; till². 2 care for (a plant) to promote and ameliorate its growth. 3 culture (algae) to maintain an active population. [< Med.L cultīvāre till < L cultus tilled < colĕre till, foster, maintain] —cul´ti·va´tion, n.
cul·ti·va·tor (kul´ti vā´tər) n. 1 one who undertakes the cultivation of a particular plant or plants. 2 one who tills the land; farmer. 3 a machine or implement for breaking up congealed soil; harrow; tiller². [< F cultivateur < Med.L cultīvāre]
cul·ver·foot (kul´vər fu̇t) n. a low cranesbill of northern Eurasia (Geranium molle L. of the Geraniaceae), bearing light-purple flowers; dove’s-foot; jam-tarts; starlights. [< OE culfre dove + fōt foot]
cul·ver·keys (kul´vər kēz´) n. 1 any of various European species bearing clusters of flowers resembling a bunch of keys, among them the bluebell Scilla nutans Sm. (of the Hyacinthaceae), the cowslip (Primula veris L., of the Primulaceae), or a pale vetch (Vicia sepium L. or V. sylvatica L., both of the Fabaceae: Papilionoideae). 2 a cluster of samaras of an ash tree. [< OE culfre dove + cæg key]
culver’s root n. 1 a tall speedwell (Veronicastrum virginicum (L.) Farw., of the Scrophulariaceae), native to moist ground in eastern North America, and bearing dense spike-like racemes of small white or purple flowers. 2 the root of this plant, which serves as an emeto-cathartic. [derives from the name of a Dr. Culver (ca. 1690), who was noted to employ it as a medicament]
cu·ri·a (kū´rē ə) n. -ri·æ. Obs. courtyard, usually of a manor. [< Med.L < L curia ancient Roman tribal subdivision]
cy·press (sī´prəs) n. 1 an evergreen cone-bearing tree or shrub (Cupressus L., of the Cupressaceae), with species occurring in North America, the Mediterranean, or the Himalayas. It bears scale-like leaves in decussate pairs, as an adult, but saplings display acicular leaves. Its wood is resinous and fragrant. 2 any of a number of relatively closely-related genera (e.g. Chamaecyparis Spach, Glyptostrobus Endl., Taxodium Rich., and Widdringtonia Endl., all of the Cupressaceae), usually bearing scale-like leaves in decussate pairs, and also usually resinous, deriving from both hemispheres. 3 the wood or boughs of such trees. [ME < OF cipres < LL cypressus < Gk. kuparissos κυπάρισσος]
cy·to·ki·nin (sī´tə kī´nin) n. any of a class of natural and artificial plant growth hormones which augment cell division and direct growth processes; kinin. [< Gk. kytos κύτος a hollow vessel + kīneîn κινεῖν move, set in motion + NL -ina noun suffix denoting organic substances or compounds]