plumbago

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n plumbago any plumbaginaceous plant of the genus Plumbago
    • n plumbago used as a lubricant and as a moderator in nuclear reactors
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Plumbago (Bot) A genus of herbaceous plants with pretty salver-shaped corollas, usually blue or violet; leadwort.
    • Plumbago (Min) Same as Graphite.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n plumbago Black-lead; graphite. See graphite.
    • n plumbago [capitalized] [NL. (Tournefort, 1700).] A genus of plants, the leadworts, of the order Plumbagineæ and tribe Plumbageæ. characterized by a glandular calyx with five short erect teeth, a salver-shaped corolla with slender tube, free stamens, and five styles united into one nearly to the top. The 10 species are natives of warm climates, extending to southern Europe and central Asia. They are usually perennial herbs, with long branches, or partly climbing, bearing alternate clasping leaves, and spikes of blue flowers (or of other colors) at the end of the branches. Several species, bearing the name leadwort, are in common cultivation; another, P. scandens, a trailing white-flowered species, is native to the south of Florida, extending thence to Brazil, and known, like P. Europæa, as loothwort, from the use to which its caustic leaves and roots are put. P. rosea is used in India to produce blisters.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Plumbago plum-bā′go a mineral composed of carbon, iron, and other materials, used for pencils, &c., popularly called 'blacklead:' graphite: a genus of plants with blue or violet flowers
    • ***

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L., from plumbum, lead
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. plumbum, lead.

Usage

In literature:

It somewhat resembles plumbago, with which it is sometimes diluted, particularly when it is fine.
"American Handbook of the Daguerrotype" by Samuel D. Humphrey
Er de plumbago or de typhoid er de yaller fever sometimes.
"The Southerner" by Thomas Dixon
At last they reached the Plumbago Mine, on the opposite height, where they borrowed two mules to carry them the rest of the way.
"Forty-one Thieves" by Angelo Hall
Silver, copper, lead, asbestos, plumbago, mica, etc., are found in varying quantities.
"Up To Date Business" by Various
Red hermatite, iron ore, traces of copper, and plumbago are found along the main Bitter Root.
"The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 101, March, 1866" by Various
The copper is melted first in a plumbago crucible; the tin is added gradually.
"On Laboratory Arts" by Richard Threlfall
Victor could have stopped, but the rock on which he had fallen seemed to be covered with plumbago.
"Deerfoot in The Mountains" by Edward S. Ellis
The Plumbago was one of the few pale-blue flowers which liked that blazing heat.
"Sketches of Our Life at Sarawak" by Harriette McDougall
With me it has only one rival among blue flowers and that is Plumbago Capense.
"The Mayflower, January, 1905" by Various
There's where the man found his plumbago.
"John March, Southerner" by George W. Cable
***

In news:

Estimated change in annual mean sea surface pH between the pre-industrial period (1700s) and the present day (1990s): Plumbago via Wikimedia Commons.
This plant is also sometimes called plumbago, but it's different from shrubby tropical plumbago.
What's Blooming in Paradise: Blue Plumbago .
Earlier this year, Rochelle Hays of Oakley caught this opossum apparently exploring the blue plumbago in her backyard.
***