• WordNet 3.6
    • n Trapa small genus of Eurasian aquatic perennial herbs: water chestnut
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n trapa A genus of polypetalous plants, of the order Onagrarieæ. It is characterized by an ovary with two cells, each with an elongated ovule pendulous from the partition; and by a nut-like spinescent fruit. There are 3, or as some esteem them only 2 (or even 1), species, natives of tropical and subtropical parts of the Old World, and extending to central Europe. They are aquatic plants with dimorphous leaves, one kind submerged, opposite, dissected, and root-like, the other a rosette of toothed rhombic leaves with inflated spongy petioles, floating on the surface. They bear axillary solitary whitish flowers with the parts in fours. The species are known as water-caltrop from the horns or spines of the singular fruit, which contains a single large seed with a sweet and edible embryo which abounds in starch and is composed of two unequal cotyledons and a radicle which perforates the apex of the fruit in germinating. T. natans, the best-known species, native from central Africa to Germany and central Asia, often cultivated elsewhere, and now naturalized in Massachusetts in the Concord river, is known as water-chestnut or water-nut, sometimes as Jesuits' nut. Its seeds are ground and made into bread in parts of the south of Europe. T. bicornis of China, there known as ling or leng, is cultivated in ponds by the Chinese for its fruit, which resembles a bullock's head with two blunt horns. T. bispinosa yields the Singharanut of Cashmere, where it forms a stanle food.
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In literature:

BOUS'TRAPA, a nickname given to Napoleon III.
"Character Sketches of Romance, Fiction and the Drama, Vol 1" by The Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D.
Water plants of Chuch, Trapa, Valisneria verticillata, and Nymphaea.
"Journals of Travels in Assam, Burma, Bhootan, Afghanistan and TheNeighbouring Countries" by William Griffith

In science:

Trapa, Pattern avoidance and smoothness of closures for orbits of a symmetric subgroup in the flag variety, preprint. H.
Duality between GL(n,R) and the degenerate affine Hecke algebra for gl(n)