Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A Eurasian perennial herb (Polygonum bistorta) having cylindrical spikes of usually pink flowers and a rhizome used as an astringent in folk medicine.
  • n. Any of certain related plants of the genus Polygonum.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of several perennial herbs, variously classified, having spikes of pink flowers

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An herbaceous plant of the genus Polygonum, section Bistorta; snakeweed; adderwort. Its root is used in medicine as an astringent.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A plant, Polygonum Bistorta, so called because of its twisted roots: popularly called snakeweed and adder's-wort.

Etymologies

French bistorte, from Old French, from Medieval Latin *bistorta : Latin bis, twice; see bis + torta, past participle of torquēre, to twist; see torque1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • As many as 30 different species grow, among them Alpine bartsia Bartsia alpina, Alpine bistort Polygonum viviparum, Unalaska fleabane Erigeron humilis and thick-leaved whitlow grass Draba crassifolia.

    Ilulissat Icefjord, Denmark-Greenland

  • Many of the other plants represented here, such as wild orchid, bistort, and thistle, echo this theme of marriage and procreation: they were acclaimed in the Middle Ages as fertility aids for both men and women.

    Fine Art Friday

  • "I thought of that, but we'll never find any bistort this time of year, and the herb sellers wouldn't begin to have enough."

    Temple of the Winds

  • "That would do it, but it would be easier yet if you gave them powdered bistort."

    Temple of the Winds

  • Then he submerged his head and came up with a mouthful of dripping duckweed and water bistort.

    The Plains of Passage

  • Monkshood, horehound, henbane, vervain (good against the spells of witches), feverfew, dog's mercury, bistort, woad, and so on, all seem like relics of the days of black-letter books.

    Nature Near London

  • Simon Rogan offers visitors to his Michelin-starred Cumbrian outpost L'Enclume a traditional pond pudding, complete with nettles, dock, bistort, dandelion and a dried nettle crust.

    The Independent - Frontpage RSS Feed

  • JL URPIN, Archbishop of Rhehns, the friend and Secretary of Charles the Great, excellently skilled * ip sacred and profane literature, of a genius equally adapted to prose and verse; the advocate of the poor, beloved of God in his life and conversation, who often hand to hand fought the Saracens by the Emperor's side: he relates the acts of Charles the Great in one book of Epistles, and flourished, under Charles and his Son Lewis, to the year of our Lord eight hundred and thirty. tubpin's bistort or JOHN TURPIN'S HISTORY OP Charles the Great and Orlando.

    History of Charles the Great and Orlando,

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