toothwort

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n toothwort North American herb with pungent scaly or toothed roots
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Toothwort (Bot) A plant whose roots are fancied to resemble teeth, as certain plants of the genus Lathræa, and various species of Dentaria. See Coralwort.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n toothwort A plant, Lathræa squamaria, so named from the tooth-like scales on the rootstock and the base of the stem, or according to some from the capsules, which when half-ripe strongly simulate human teeth. Also called clown's lungwort.
    • n toothwort A plant of the genus Dentaria: same as coralwort, 1.
    • n toothwort See Plumbago, 2.
    • n toothwort The shepherd's-purse, Capsella Bursapastoris: an old use.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Toothwort a name for Lathræa squamaria, one of the insectivorous plants, as well as for Dentaria bulbifera, one of the Cruciferæ, common in England, also known as 'coral-wort' and 'tooth-violet.'—adj. Tooth′y, having teeth: toothsome: biting
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Etymology

Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. tóth (pl. téth, also tóthas); cog. with Goth. tunthus, L. dens, dent-is, Gr. o-dous, o-dont-os, Sans. danta.

Usage

In literature:

The toothworts and broom rapes are Draconidae, I think, and wholly parasites.
"Proserpina, Volume 2" by John Ruskin
The roots are of singular form, almost like human teeth, arranged as scales, whence the name Toothwort.
"Hardy Perennials and Old Fashioned Flowers" by John Wood
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In news:

Garlic mustard beginning to crowd out toothwort.
Garlic mustard beginning to crowd out toothwort.
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