Definitions

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

  • n. Any of several dioecious vines of the closely related genera Cocculus and Menispermum, having inconspicuous flowers and red or blackish fruit.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A twining plant of the genus Menispermum, eponymous of the Menispermae or moonseed family

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A climbing plant of the genus Menispermum; -- so called from the crescentlike form of the seeds.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A plant of the genus Menispermum.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. plant of the family Menispermaceae having red or black fruit with crescent- or ring-shaped seeds

Etymologies

From its lunate seeds.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Germanic: moon + seed; parallel to the cognate, yet non-synonymous Dutch maanzaad (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The Dakota dug the yellow root of the moonseed plant for medicinal purposes, for healing.

    New Lit Mag: Yellow Medicine Review

  • If there had even been a false hope that a nanotech antidote or something to stop the moonseed could be discovered, then I would be more willing to become emotionally attached to the characters and scenery that is being destroyed.

    Archive 2005-12-17

  • He also collected Chondrodendron iquitanum, one of the curare plants brought back from the Canelos Quichua by Richard Gill, as well as two species of Abuta, a related genus in the moonseed family.

    One River

  • In the western Amazon, however, virtually every report suggested that arrow poisons were made from species of Chondrodendron and related genera in the moonseed family.

    One River

  • When she finished she picked up a trailing vine of moonseed.

    The Harvester

  • You see it on cultivated plums, grapes, and apples, but never in any such perfection as on moonseed and black haws in the woods.

    The Harvester

  • She learned the uses and prices of the plant, and also made drawings of cohosh, moonseed and bloodroot.

    The Harvester

  • Monterey cypress monthly advice moon-flower moonseed morning-glory, perennial morus species mounding-up trees mountain ash mountain laurel moving large trees muck

    Manual of Gardening (Second Edition)

  • On the wooded slopes there are the white fruits of the baneberry on its quaintly-shaped red stalks, the pretty fruit clusters of the moonseed and the smilax.

    Some Summer Days in Iowa

  • Throw your vegetables in it, put some, er, moonseed on the battered chunks and stir-fry for a few minutes.

    vegan-food.net

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  • "The seeds of this Eastern North American drupe (stone fruit) are extremely toxic to humans, although birds can eat them. Moonseeds first cause paralysis but are fatal in larger doses and/or if treatment is not sought immediately."
    - 'Cute Killers: 16 Unassuming-but-Lethal Poison Plants', webecoist.com, 16 Sep 2008.

    October 4, 2008