Definitions

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

  • n. Any of various western North American evergreen shrubs of the genus Eriodictyon, having purple or white flowers borne in coiled cymes and a funnel-shaped corolla.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Plants native to southwestern North America. Eriodictyon californicum or other species in the genus Eriodictyon, which have traditionally been used medicinally.
  • n. Hoja santa, a Central American plant with sweet-scented leaves used to flavor food, Piper auritum.

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

  • n. viscid evergreen shrub of western United States with white to deep lilac flowers; the sticky aromatic leaves are used in treating bronchial and pulmonary illnesses

Etymologies

Spanish : yerba, herb + santa, holy.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Spanish yerba + santa (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Every house in the Town of the Vines has its garden plot, corn and brown beans, and a row of peppers reddening in the sun, and in damp borders of the irrigating ditches clumps of yerba santa, horehound, catnip, and spikenard, wholesome herbs and curative, but if no peppers then nothing at all.

    The Little Town of the Grape Vines

  • Every house in the town of the vines has its garden plot, corn and brown beans and a row of peppers reddening in the sun; and in damp borders of the irrigating ditches clumps of yerba santa, horehound, catnip, and spikenard, wholesome herbs and curative, but if no peppers then nothing at all.

    The Land of Little Rain

  • lilies, manzanitas and madrone, and a few herbs cherished for medicinal value: yerba buena, yerba santa, yerba mansa, yerba de selva.

    SFGate: Top News Stories

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