from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A name given to the camass, Camassia esculenta, of Oregon; also, in Texas, to Dasylirion Texanum, the young pulpy stems of which are much eaten by bears; and to species of the genus Yucca, for the same reason.
  • noun A bunch-grass, Stipa setigera, ranging from the mountains of California, where it is considered valuable, to Oregon and Texas.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • The yucca or bear-grass is in perfection; its massive flower scapes are very telling.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 299, September 24, 1881

  • Spanish-dagger, bear-grass, and persimmon-bushes freckled the sides of the rocky divides with dark spots, and mistletoe hung its fine green globes like unillumined lanterns in the branches of the mesquites.

    Lippincott's Magazine, October 1885

  • It was a box-house, painted red, with a broad porch thatched with bear-grass, and

    Lippincott's Magazine, October 1885

  • Besides all these were massive biznagas, cholas, bear-grass or palmilla, and the mescal, supplying the principal vegetable food of the Apaches.

    Ranching, Sport and Travel

  • While he shook and straightened the blankets, and smote the bear-grass pillows with his fists, he told himself that he would cut some fresh pine boughs to soften it a little as soon as the weather cleared.

    The Man from the Bitter Roots

  • When Sprudell stretched his stiff muscles and turned his head upon the bear-grass pillow at daybreak, Bruce was writing a letter on the corner of the table and Uncle Bill was stowing away provisions in a small canvas sack.

    The Man from the Bitter Roots

  • When he had stretched himself at night on his mattress of pine-boughs with his head on the bear-grass pillow watching through the cabin window the moon rise out of the "draw" where Big Squaw creek headed, he had thought that he was happy.

    The Man from the Bitter Roots

  • His bed was far too soft; he believed he could have slept if only he had had his mattress of pine-boughs and his bear-grass pillow.

    The Man from the Bitter Roots

  • All the others had net veined specimens, but they remembered that iris and flag and corn and bear-grass -- yucca -- all were parallel.

    Ethel Morton's Enterprise

  • The Indians thatch these huts with bear-grass arranged in overlapping rows and held in place with strings (see Fig. 69) made of yucca leaves (Fig. 31).

    Shelters, Shacks and Shanties


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