• WordNet 3.6
    • n Tacca genus of tropical plants with creeping rootstocks and small umbellate flowers
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n tacca A genus of plants, type of the order Taccaceæ, distinguished by its fruit, which is a berry, commonly three-angled or six-ribbed. It comprises nine tropical species, of which three are American, the others of the Old World. They are perennial herbs from a tuberous or creeping root-stock, with large radical leaves which are entire, lobed, or dissected, and a dense umbel of brown, lurid, or greenish flowers terminating an erect leafless scape, and involucrate with an exterior row of herbaceous or colored bracts. The numerous inner bracts are long, filiform, and pendulous, and have been erroneously regarded as sterile pedicels. T. pinnatifida, the pia-plant or Otaheite salep-plant, yields a nutritious starch, the South Sea arrowroot. (See pia.) Its leafstalks are boiled and eaten in China and Cochin-China; in Tahiti they are dried and plaited into bonnets. Other species, thought to be valuable as starch-plants, occur in Australia, India, Madagascar, Guinea, and Guiana. Several species were formerly separated as a genus Ataccia (K. B. Presl, 1830), having entire leaves and a spreading perianth.
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In literature:

Rice, tacca, arrowroot, oats, etc.
"Scientific American Supplement, No. 799, April 25, 1891" by Various
The large fleshy tubers of tacca, when scraped and frequently washed, yield a nutritious fecula resembling arrowroot.
"The Commercial Products of the Vegetable Kingdom" by P. L. Simmonds
It was cast by Pietro Tacca, and is now a fountain.
"Legends of Florence Collected from the People, First Series" by Charles Godfrey Leland

In news:

Pier Marco Tacca, Getty Images.
Pier Marco Tacca / Chris Jackson, Getty Images.