• WordNet 3.6
    • n Rhamnus type genus of the Rhamnaceae: buckthorns
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Rhamnus (Bot) A genus of shrubs and small trees; buckthorn. The California Rhamnus Purshianus and the European Rhamnus catharticus are used in medicine. The latter is used for hedges.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n Rhamnus A genus of polypetalous shrubs and trees, including the buckthorn, type of the order Rhamnaceæ and of the tribe Rhamneæ. It is characterized by a thin disk sheathing the bell-shaped calyx-tube and bearing the four or five stamens on its margin; by a free ovary often immersed within the disk; and by its fruit, an oblong or spherical drupe, surrounded at its base by the small calyx-tube, and containing two, three, or four hard one-seeded stones. There are about 66 species, natives of warm and temperate regions, frequent in Europe, Asia, and America, rare in the tropics. They bear alternate petioled and feather-veined leaves, which are either entire or toothed, deciduous or evergreen, and are furnished with small deciduous stipules. The flowers are in axillary racemes or cymes, and are commonly diœcious in the typical section, but not so in the principal American species (the genus Frangula of Brongniart), which also differ in their unfurrowed seeds and flat fleshy seed-leaves. A general name for the species is buckthorn, the common buckthorn being R. catharticus of the northern Old World, planted and sparingly naturalized in the United States. It is used as a hedge-plant. Its bark is medicinal, like that of R. Frangula; its black berries afford a now nearly disused cathartic, and with those of some other species yield by treatment the pigment known as sap-green. R. Frangula, of the same nativity, called black or berry-bearing alder, alder-buckthorn, and (black) dogwood, affords one of the very best gunpowder-charcoals, while its bark is an officinal cathartic. (See frangula, frangulin.) The fruit of R. infectorius and other species forms the French, Turkey, or Persian berries of the dyers. (See under Persian.) In China the bark of R. tinctorius (R. chlorophorus) and R. Davuricus (R. utilis) affords the famous green indigo, or lokao, there used to dye silks, also introduced at Lyons. (For other Old World species, see alaternus and lotus-tree, 3.) R. Carolinianus of the southern United States is a shrub or small tree, bearing a sweet and agreeable fruit. The berries of R. croceus of California are much eaten by the Indians. R. Californicus, the California coffee-tree, yields an unimportant coffee-substitute. R. Purshianus of the western coast yields the cascara sagrada bark (see under bark), sometimes called chittam-bark, whence probably, in view of the hard fine wood, the name shittim-wood. See bearberry, 2, and redwood, 2.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Rhamnus ram′nus a genus of polypetalous shrubs and trees, including the buckthorn.
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
NL., from Gr. "ra`mnos a kind of prickly shrub; cf. L. rhamnos,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary


In literature:

D. C. Prodromus, xvii., 165 Rhamnus ulmoides, Gueldenst.
"Scientific American Supplement, No. 417" by Various
This statue was placed in a temple of the goddess at Rhamnus, about eight miles from Marathon.
"The Great Events by Famous Historians, Vol. 1" by Various
Rhamnus catharticus (Common Buckthorn) .
"Handbook to the Severn Valley Railway Illustrative and Descriptive of Places along the Line from Worcester to Shrewsbury" by J. Randall
Some years ago I had sent for the seeds of Rhamnus Purshiana from U. S. A.
"Northern Nut Growers Association Report of the Proceedings at the Twenty-Fifth Annual Meeting" by Northern Nut Growers Association
She had a famous temple at Rhamnus, one of the 'pagi,' or boroughs of Athens.
"The Metamorphoses of Ovid" by Publius Ovidius Naso
By my troth, I think 'twas Phania; But this I'm sure, he said he was of Rhamnus.
"The Comedies of Terence" by Publius Terentius Afer
Here Caillie for the first time saw the Rhamnus Lotus mentioned by Park.
"Celebrated Travels and Travellers" by Jules Verne
Rhamnus catharticus, v. 3.
"Zoonomia, Vol. II" by Erasmus Darwin
It was accordingly erected at Rhamnus.
"Museum of Antiquity" by L. W. Yaggy
Temple of Nemesis, at Rhamnus, in Attica.
"Architecture" by Thomas Roger Smith