• WordNet 3.6
    • n Xerophyllum small genus of North American herbs having grasslike basal leaves: squaw grass; sometimes placed in family Melanthiaceae
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n xerophyllum A genus of liliaceous plants, of the tribe Narthecieæ. It is characterized by crowded linear radical leaves, flowers with three styles, and a loculicidal capsule. The.3 species are natives of the United States, and are known as turkeybeard. They are perennials, with a short thick woody rhizome, tall erect unbranched stem, and a great number of harsh rigid elongated leaves, usually forming a conspicuous basal tuft, and also numerous along the stem, but much smaller and thinner, finally diminished into bristles. The flowers are white and very showy, forming a long terminal raceme which is at first densely pyramidal or oblong and becomes afterward greatly elongated. X. setifolium, the eastern species, is a native of pine-barrens from New Jersey to Georgia; the western, X. Douglasii, with a smaller raceme, occurs from the Columbia river to Montana; the raceme of X. tenax, of California, is fragrant and dense, becoming over a foot in length.
    • n xerophyllum [lowercase] A plant of this genus.
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