from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The woolly fern, Cibotium barometz.
  • n. A Scythian Lamb; a joke creature, supposedly half animal and half plant, made by inverting a woolly fern.
  • n. The Vegetable Lamb of Tartary, a mythical plant believed to grow sheep as its fruit.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The woolly-skinned rhizoma or rootstock of a fern (Dicksonia barometz), which, when specially prepared and inverted, somewhat resembles a lamb; -- called also Scythian lamb.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The decumbent caudex of the fern Dicksonia Barometz, also called Agnus Scythicus, the Scythian or Tatarian lamb. See Agnus Scythicus, under agnus. Also written boramez.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Possibly a corruption of the Russian word baranets (from "baran", ram) used to describe a species of club moss.


  • This is actually a rhizome of the fern Cibotium barometz, an arborescent fern that was eventually introduced into Britain in 1824 from China.

    Archive 2004-05-01

  • Possible the barnacle, like the barometz of Tartarean lamb, may be a survivor of the day when the animal and vegetable kingdoms had not yet branched off into different directions.

    Arabian nights. English

  • Cibotium barometz) and three orchid species. frozen carcasses of two tigers and a panther, along with several kilos of suspected tiger bone, were confiscated last week in Vietnam, a country which now has as few as 30 tigers left in the wild.

    Scientific American


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  • My, what a decumbent caudex you have!

    November 2, 2011

  • November 1, 2011

  • I don't want to know, anyhow.

    June 18, 2011

  • Oh dear lord, are those what I think they are, madmouth?

    June 11, 2011

  • Different time zones, I guess. I'm always disappointed when I get on after dinner and everyone's gone to bed.

    Very fierce sheep there, sionnach. Good thing I didn't dream of counting barometz last night!

    June 11, 2011

  • I wararnt tanuki balls can compensate for a lifetime of silence. Just listen to their whistly flapping - whooom .... whooom ....

    June 11, 2011

  • Sorry you were here all by yourself, Foxy, but I see you managed to have fun with the sheep. As for the Scythians, you probably know that Russians have been claiming the Scythian legacy for themselves at least since the mid-19th century. Not to mention all the Scythian gold they have in the depositories of the hermitage. But as for the dreaded ovine plant, when I looked up the word баранец / baranets (the Russian name for it) on the Russian Wikipedia (Википедия), all the references they had for it were Western reports, so who know what the origin of the legend is.

    June 11, 2011

  • I showed up earlier, but there was nothing but my own echo, so I left. Nice bouncing sheep, sionnach!

    June 11, 2011

  • Well, the dreaded lamb of Tartary seems to have killed off everyone else on Wordie. It's awfully quiet around here today.

    Or as yarb would put it;

    awfully quiet

    June 11, 2011

  • That's lovely, blaff.

    I think there's sufficient overlap between Scythia and the former U.S.S.R. to support the notion of the barometz falling into the Slav sphere of influence.

    *Hears munching sound in the background. Looks around nervously.*

    June 11, 2011

  • I'm claiming this for my Slavonicisms list, on the suspicion that the word derives from the Russian word баран / baran, which means "ram". (In Russian, баранец / baranets is the name of a moss, Huperzia selago, the northern firmoss or fir clubmoss, but what relation that has to sheep-bearing vegetation I don't know).

    June 11, 2011

  • June 11, 2011

  • duneroller

    Cancel my Scythian vacation. It's just too risky.

    February 27, 2010

  • Ooooh...when his face turns red, right?

    July 7, 2009

  • 'When it's on your plate!' Just ask Jimi

    July 7, 2009

  • I don't get it...

    July 7, 2009

  • Foolish marsupial! You have the gift of prophecy.

    July 7, 2009

  • I give up... how do you tell when a crab is lying?

    July 7, 2009

  • How do you tell when a crab is lying?

    July 7, 2009

  • Instead of flowering the plant blossoms into vicious omnivorous sheep. Tethered to their stalks, the sheep blossoms then strip the land around them until, ultimately, they starve themselves to death. Curiously, a dead barometz is prized for its succulent crab-lie flesh, fine wool, and bones that, when crushed, impart the gift of prophecy.

    July 7, 2009

  • See also baromets.

    January 12, 2009

  • Wot, more than jigget? Oh dear.

    January 11, 2009

  • Vast Scythian flocks, beyond number, I imagine.

    January 11, 2009

  • How many are there?

    January 11, 2009

  • the vegetable lamb, which grows (attached by its long tail) head-downward from a tree.

    January 11, 2009

  • A spurious natural-history specimen, consisting of the creeping root-stock and frond-stalks of a woolly fern (Cibotium barometz) turned upside down; formerly represented as a creature half-animal and half-plant, and called the Scythian Lamb.

    - OED2

    December 28, 2008