• WordNet 3.6
    • n Tetragonia New Zealand spinach
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n tetragonia A genus of plants, of the order Ficoideæ, distinguished from Mesembrayanthemum, the other genus of its tribe, Mesembryeæ, by its apetalous flowers. It includes about 20 species, mainly natives of the Cape of Good Hope, with others in eastern Asia, Australia, and South America. They are somewhat fleshy herbs or undershrubs with weak or prostrate stems, bearing alternate entire leaves, and axillary greenish-yellow or reddish flowers. The fruit is a drupe or nut, often prominently winged, angled, or horned, containing a bony stone with from one to nine one-seeded cells. By Lindley the genus was made the type of a former order Tetragoniaceæ. See Australian and New Zealand spinach (under spinach), and compare fat-hen and soda.
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In literature:

Glenarvan, holding with one hand to a tuft of tetragonia, with the other holding his wife, waited with breathless anxiety.
"In Search of the Castaways" by Jules Verne