• WordNet 3.6
    • n heartseed herbaceous vine of tropical America and Africa
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Heartseed härt"sēd` (Bot) A climbing plant of the genus Cardiospermum, having round seeds which are marked with a spot like a heart.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n heartseed A general name of plants of the genus Cardiospermum (of which name it is a translation), but more especially of C. Halicacabum, a beautiful vine well known in cultivation, which in the United States has received the appropriate name of balloon-vine, from the large, triangular, inflated fruit. See balloon-vine. The genus takes its name from the white heart-shaped scar which marks the attachment of the seed. It belongs to the natural order Sapindaceæ, or soapwort family. There are about 15 species, chiefly natives of tropical America; but the C. Halicacabum and two other species have a wider distribution. The names heart-pea and winter-cherry are also given to these plants. In the Moluccas the seeds are cooked and eaten as a vegetable. They are also used in some countries as a remedy for lumbago. The mucilaginous root is a laxative and diuretic, and is used in cases of rheumatism.
    • ***