- n Piscidia genus of shrubs or small trees having indehiscent pods with black seeds; roots and bark yield fish poisons
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n piscidia A genus of plants of the order Leguminosæ, tribe Dalbergieæ, and subtribe Lonchocarpeæ, characterized by wing-petals adherent to the keel, and long thick pods longitudinally four-winged. The only species. P. Erythrina, a native of the West Indies, is a tree with alternate pinnate leaves, white and red flowers in short lateral panicles, and many-seeded indehiscent linear pods. It is known as Jamaica or white dogwood, reaches a height of about 35 feet, extends into Florida and Mexico, and produces a valuable, very hard, close-grained wood, yellowish-brown in color and taking a high polish, used in its native region for boat-building, firewood, and charcoal. (For the use of its powdered leaves and twigs to stupefy fish, see fish-poison.) Its gray or brown acrid bark is imported into the United States for its narcotic properties.