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

  • n. A tropical shrub or tree (Croton eluteria) native to the West Indies and northern South America, having a bark that yields an aromatic spicy oil used as a flavoring and fragrance.
  • n. The bark of this plant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A euphorbiaceous West Indian shrub (Croton eleutheria).
  • n. The aromatic bark of this shrub, formerly used as a gentle tonic or mixed with tobacco for smoking.


Spanish, diminutive of cáscara, bark; see cascara.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Spanish, small thin bark, Peruvian bark. (Wiktionary)



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  • Stoughton, an earlier Dr Munyon or Father John, made and marketed an elixir of wormwood, germander, rhubarb, orange peel, cascarilla, and aloes. It was used to flavour alcoholic beverages and as a strong tonic for winter-weary folk.
    —James Thurber, 1952, 'Daguerreotype of a Lady', in The Thurber Album

    (It came in a Stoughton bottle.)

    July 10, 2008