Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A genus of plants of the natural order Asclepiadeæ, the milkweed family, type of tribe Marsdenieæ. It is characterized by having the crown adnate to the stamen-tube, and composed of five flat scales which are free at the apex, and by a subrotate, campanulate, or urn-shaped corolla, with the lobes convolute to the right, or rarely subvalvate. They are twining shrubs, rarely suberect, with opposite leaves, and small or medium-sized purplish-green or whitish flowers, growing in terminal or axillary umbrella-shaped cymes. There are about 55 species, natives of the warmer regions of the globe. M. tenacissima of India yields the valuable jetee-fiber. (See
jetee.) M. tinctoria, also East Indian, produces a blue dye, whence it is called indigo-plant. The milky juice of M. erecta, of southeastern Europe, raises blisters on the skin, and taken internally is a violent poisou. M. suaveolens of Australia is named fragrant bower-plant, and M. viridiflora is the native potato of New South Wales. See cundurango.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Bot.) A genus of plants of the Milkweed family, mostly woody climbers with fragrant flowers, several species of which furnish valuable fiber, and one species (Marsdenia tinctoria) affords indigo.
“Two endangered species of the genus Marsdenia, M. coronata and M. longiloba occur within the property.”
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