from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Either of two trees, Magnolia fraseri or M. tripetala, of the southeast United States, having large leaves clustered in an umbrellalike form at the ends of the branches.
- n. An Australian evergreen tree (Brassasia actinophylla), having palmately compound leaves and widely cultivated in its smaller forms as a houseplant.
- n. See schefflera.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. a kind of magnolia (Magnolia Umbrella) with the large leaves arranged in umbrellalike clusters at the ends of the branches. It is a native of Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Kentucky. Other plants in various countries are called by this name, especially a kind of screw pine (Pandanus odoratissimus).
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In the southern United States, a cultivated flat-topped variety of the china-tree, Melia Azedarach, in which the branches radiate from the main stem like the ribs of an umbrella.
- n. See grass-tree, 4.
- n. An American magnolia, Magnolia tripetala (M. Umbrella), widely distributed, but not common, from Pennsylvania southward and southwestward.
- n. See Thespesia.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. erect evergreen shrub or small tree of Australia and northern New Guinea having palmately compound leaves
- n. small deciduous tree of eastern North America having creamy white flowers and large leaves in formations like umbrellas at the ends of branches
Sorry, no etymologies found.
They are distinctly southern trees; some species under cultivation in the United States come from Asia, but the two most commonly grown in the Eastern States are the cucumber tree and the umbrella tree.
No doubt at the time when the survivors of the _Mary Ann_ of Bristol had cached their ill-gotten doubloons a recent fire had swept this point of land so that they had found no difficulty in traversing it, but now the jungle was so thick and matted that I decided to begin by cutting roads to the palm grove and the umbrella tree.
By this time a path had been cut through to the palm grove and from it to the umbrella tree.
Henry Hicks (in _Country Life in America), _is the American elm, which ought to be called the umbrella tree.
Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.