• Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Sideroxylon (Bot) A genus of tropical sapotaceous trees noted for their very hard wood; ironwood.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n sideroxylon A genus of gamopetalous trees or shrubs of the orer Sapotaceæ, and type of the tribe Sideroxyleæ. It is characterized by regular and symmetrical flowers with both calyx and corolla usually divided into five similar imbricated broad and obtuse lobes, and commonly inclosing five stamens, five staminodes, and a five-celled ovary which ripens into a roundish berry containing from one to five hard and shining seeds, with fleshy albumen and broad leaf-like cotyledons. There are 60 or 70 species, widely scattered through the tropics, a few occurring beyond them, in South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand, and one in Madeira. They are trees or shrubs, either smooth or hairy, bearing thin and veiny but rigid leaves, destitute of stipules. The somewhat bell-shaped and usually small flowers are borne in sessile or pedicelled axillary clusters, which are commonly white or whitish. The species are known in general as ironwood, especially S. Capense of Cape Colony. One yellow-flowered species extends into Florida, for which see mastic-tree. For S. australis, the wycanlie of the native Australians, see wild plum , under plum. S. rugosum is known in Jamaica as beefapple and bull-apple tree, and bears large yellowish berries with a rigid rind. S. dulcificum, of the coast of western Africa, is there called miraculous-berry by English residents, from the duration of its sweet flavor upon the palate.
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
NL., fr. Gr. iron + wood