• WordNet 3.6
    • n Heracleum widely distributed genus of plants with usually thick rootstocks and large umbels of white flowers
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n heracleum A genus of dicotyledonous polypetalous plants founded by Linnæus, belonging to the natural order Umbelliferæ, tribe Peucedaneæ, characterized by its broadly obovate, strongly compressed wing-margined fruit. The genus embraces about 80 species of perennial or biennial herbs, with alternate leaves, and generally white flowers in compound umbels. They are chiefly natives of the temperate regions of the old world. H. lanatum is the only American species. It is known as the cow-parsnip or hogweed, and is eaten by some of the native tribes of North America. A Kamchatkan species yields, when properly treated, a sweet exudation which is employed in the preparation of a distilled spirit. H. Sphondylium, a European species, is used for feeding pigs and sometimes as a domestic remedy.
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