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Flora

Berries

baneberry  n. 1. Any of several perennial herbs of the genus Actaea, native to northern temperate regions, having terminal clusters of red, white, or blackish berries. 2. The poisonous berry of a plant of this genus.

Barbados gooseberry n. 1. A tropical American cactus (Pereskia aculeata) with climbing or trailing spiny stems, broad leaves, and clusters of fragrant whitish, pale yellow, or pinkish flowers. 2. The small, globular, yellow edible fruit of this plant, used to make jellies and preserves. Also called blade apple.

barberry   n. Any of various shrubs of the genus Berberis having leaves that are often clustered, small yellow flowers, and red, orange, or blackish berries. They are grown as specimen or hedge plants. [Middle English berberie, from Medieval Latin berberis.]

barren strawberry n. A low-growing, eastern North American perennial herb (Waldsteinia fragarioides) having strawberrylike leaves, yellow flowers, and small, dry, inedible fruit.

bayberry  n. 1. A deciduous, eastern North American shrub (Myrica pensylvanica) having aromatic foliage and small, globose fruits with a waxy covering used for making fragrant candles. 2. The fruit of this tree.

bearberry  n. Any of certain mat-forming shrubs of the genus Arctostaphylos, especially A. uva-ursi, native to North America and Eurasia, having small leathery leaves, white or pinkish urn-shaped flowers, and red berrylike fruits. Also called kinnikinnick.

beautyberry  n. Any of various shrubs of the genus Callicarpa cultivated for their axillary clusters of showy, often lavender-pink to violet berrylike fruits.
Berry A historical region and former province of central France. Purchased by the French crown in 1101, it became an independent duchy in 1360 and reverted to the crown in 1601.

berry  n., pl. berries. 1.a. Botany. An indehiscent fruit derived from a single ovary and having the whole wall fleshy, such as the grape or tomato. b. A small, juicy, fleshy fruit, such as a blackberry or raspberry, regardless of its botanical structure. 2. The small, dark egg of certain crustaceans or fishes. --berry intr.v. berried,
berrying, berries. 1. To hunt for or gather berries: went berrying in July. 2. To bear or produce berries. [Middle English berye, from Old English berie.

Berry, Charles Edward Anderson. Known as "Chuck." Born 1926. American musician and singer considered among the earliest and most influential rock 'n' roll performers.

bilberry  n. See blueberry. [bil-, probably of Scandinavian origin;
black raspberry n. 1. A prickly eastern North American shrub (Rubus occidentalis) having an aggregate, edible, juicy, purple-black fruit. Also called blackcap. 2. The fruit of this plant.

blackberry  n. 1. Any of various shrubs of the genus Rubus, having usually prickly stems, compound leaves, and an aggregate fruit of small drupelets. 2. The fruit of these plants, usually black, purple, or deep red.

blueberry  n. 1. Any of numerous plants of the genus Vaccinium, having white to reddish, urn-shaped or tubular flowers and edible blue to blue-black berries. 2. The fruit of any of these plants. Also called bilberry.

boysenberry  n. 1. A prickly bramble of uncertain origin but ultimately derived from a western North American blackberry (Rubus ursinus). 2. The edible, dark wine-red to nearly black fruit of this plant, having a taste suggestive of raspberries. [After Rudolph Boysen (died 1950), American botanist.]

brambleberry  n. The fruit of a bramble (Rubus).

buffalo berry n. 1. Any of three North American shrubs or small trees of the genus Shepherdia, having small yellowish flowers, drupelike fruits, and foliage that is covered with silvery scales. 2. The berry of any of these plants.

bunchberry  n. See dwarf cornel.
  dwarf cornel n. A herbaceous plant (Cornus canadensis) of northern North America, having creeping rhizomes, scarlet fruit, and inconspicuous greenish flowers surrounded by four white, petallike bracts. Also called bunchberry.

candleberry  n. 1. Any of certain bayberries, the wax myrtle, or the fruit of these plants. 2. See candlenut.

candlenut  n. 1. A tropical southeast Asian tree (Aleurites moluccana) bearing nutlike seeds that are used to make candles and yield a drying oil used in paints, varnishes, lacquer, and soft soap. 2. The seed of this tree. Also called candleberry.
Cape gooseberry n. A tropical South American plant (Physalis peruviana) having yellow flowers with purple centers and an inflated calyx enclosing an edible yellow berry used to make jam, sauces, and desserts.

Casselberry  A city of east-central Florida, a suburb of Orlando. Population, 18,911.

checkerberry  n. See wintergreen. [checker(board) + berry.]
wintergreen (w¹n"tr-grn") n. 1.a. A low-growing, creeping evergreen plant (Gaultheria procumbens) of North America, having solitary, nodding white flowers, aromatic leaves, and spicy, edible scarlet berries. Also called checkerberry, teaberry. b. An oil or a flavoring obtained from this plant. 2. Any of several similar or related plants, such as the pipsissewa. [Translation of Dutch wintergroen.]

chinaberry  n. A deciduous Asian tree (Melia azedarach), widely cultivated and naturalized in the southern United States and having bipinnately compound leaves, clusters of purplish flowers, and yellow, globose, poisonous fruits. Also called China tree.

Chinese gooseberry n. See kiwi.

  kiwi  n., pl. kiwis. 1. Any of several flightless birds of the genus Apteryx native to New Zealand, having vestigial wings and a long, slender bill. Also called apteryx. 2.a. A woody Chinese vine (Actinidia chinensis) having brown, fuzzy, edible fruit with a green, sweet pulp. b. The fruit of this plant. Also called Chinese gooseberry. [Maori, perhaps of imitative origin.]

chokeberry  n. 1. Any of various deciduous shrubs of the genus Aronia in the rose family, native to eastern North America and having clusters of small white or pinkish flowers and tiny red to black applelike fruit. 2. The fruit of any of these plants. [From its bitter fruit.]

Christmas berry n. See toyon.

  toyon  n. An evergreen Californian shrub (Heteromeles arbutifolia), having leathery leaves, small white flowers in large panicles, and red, fleshy, berrylike fruit. Also called Christmas berry. [Spanish tollon, from Greek tolon.]

cloudberry  n. A creeping perennial herb (Rubus chamaemorus) in the rose family, native to northern regions of North America and Eurasia and having white flowers and edible, yellowish fruit.

coralberry  n. 1. A North American deciduous shrub (Symphoricarpos orbiculatus) cultivated for its abundant clusters of coral-red, berrylike fruits. Also called Indian currant. 2. Any of certain eastern Asian evergreen shrubs of the genus Ardisia, such as spiceberry, cultivated as a houseplant for its clusters of long-lasting, red, berrylike fruits.

cowberry  n. 1. A low, creeping, evergreen shrub (Vaccinium vitis-idaea), native to northern parts of North America and Eurasia and having drooping clusters of small white or pinkish flowers. 2. The edible red berry of this plant, used to make sauces, jams, and preserves. Also called lingberry, lingonberry, mountain cranberry.

cranberry  n. 1. A mat-forming, evergreen shrub (Vaccinium macrocarpum) of eastern North America, having pink flowers and tart, red, edible berries. 2. The berries of this plant, used in sauces, jellies, relishes, and beverages. 3. Any of several similar or related plants, especially Vaccinium oxycoccos. [Partial translation of Low German Kraanbere : Kraan, crane (from Middle Low German kran

crowberry  n. 1. A low-growing evergreen shrub (Empetrum nigrum) native to cool regions of the Northern Hemisphere and having tiny leaves, small pinkish or purplish flowers, and black, berrylike fruits. 2. The fruit of this plant.
dangleberry  n. A deciduous shrub (Gaylussacia frondosa) of the eastern United States, having dark blue fruits. Also called dwarf huckleberry. [Probably alteration of tangleberry.]

dewberry  n. 1. Any of several trailing forms of the blackberry, such as Rubus hispidus of North America and R. caesius of Europe. 2. The fruit of any of these plants.

dogberry  n. 1. A wild gooseberry (Ribes cynosbati) of eastern North America, bearing large, prickly berries. 2. A wild mountain ash (Pyrus decora) of eastern North America. 3. The fruit of either of these plants.

dwarf huckleberry n. See dangleberry.

elderberry  n. 1. The small, edible, purplish-black fruit of the common American elder (Sambucus canadensis), sometimes used to make wine or preserves. 2. A shrub or tree that bears elderberries.

farkleberry  n. A shrub or small tree (Vaccinium arboreum) of the southeast United States, having leathery leaves and hard black berries. Also called sparkleberry. [farkle (of unknown origin) + berry.]

gooseberry  n. 1.a. A spiny European shrub (Ribes uva-crispa), having lobed leaves, greenish flowers, and edible greenish to yellow or red berries. b. The fruit of this plant. 2. Any of several plants bearing similar fruit.

hackberry  n. 1. Any of various trees or shrubs of the genus Celtis, having inconspicuous flowers and small, usually ovoid drupes. 2. The fruit of such a plant. 3. The soft, yellowish wood of these trees or shrubs. Also called sugarberry. [Alteration of obsolete hagberry : hag- (of Scandinavian origin) + berry.]

Hansberry, Lorraine. 1930-1965. American playwright known for her play A Raisin in the Sun (1959).

highbush cranberry  n. See cranberry bush.

  cranberry bush n. A North American shrub (Viburnum trilobum) having broad clusters of white flowers and scarlet fruit. Also called cranberry tree, highbush cranberry.

honeyberry  n. See genip.

  genip  n. 1. A tropical American tree (Melicoccus bijugatus) having small, fragrant, greenish-white flowers and small fruits with a green, leathery rind and a juicy, yellowish, translucent pulp. 2. The sweet, edible fruit of this plant. Also called honeyberry, Spanish lime. 3. See genipap. [Possibly alteration of genipap.]

  genipap  n. 1. A tropical American evergreen tree (Genipa americana) having yellowish-white flowers and edible fruits used in preserves or drinks. The fruits yield dark blue dye that is used extensively as a body paint by Indians of tropical America. 2. The reddish-brown fruit of this plant. Also called genip, marmalade box. [Portuguese genipapo, from Tupi jenipapo, from yandi-ipab, genipap fruit.]
huckleberry  n. 1. Any of various New World shrubs of the genus Gaylussacia, related to the blueberries and bearing edible fruit. 2. The glossy, blackish, many-seeded berry of these plants. [Probably alteration of hurtleberry, whortleberry.]

   The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884). In Huckleberry Finn, widely considered his masterpiece, Twain created one of the most memorable characters in American fiction, painted a realistic picture of 19th-cent. life, and revolutionized the language of fiction through his use of vernacular speech.
   All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn. American writing comes from that. There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since.
     Ernest Hemingway (18991961), U.S. author. The Green Hills of Africa, ch. 1 (1935).

inkberry  n. 1. A shrub (Ilex glabra) of eastern North America, having black, berrylike fruit. 2. The fruit of an inkberry.

Juneberry  n. See shadbush.

  shadbush  n. Any of various North American shrubs or trees of the genus Amelanchier, having white flowers, edible blue-black or purplish fruit, and smooth, gray, striped twigs. Also called Juneberry, shadblow.
lemonade berry n. An evergreen shrub or tree (Rhus integrifolia) native to southern California and Baja California, having opposite leaves, dark red fruit, and white flowers clustered in a panicle.

lingberry  n. See cowberry. [Variant of lingonberry.]
lingonberry  n. See cowberry. [Swedish lingon, a kind of berry + berry.]
loganberry  n. 1. A trailing, prickly plant (Rubus ursinus var. loganobaccus) native to Oregon and south to Baja California, cultivated for its acid, edible fruit. 2. The red fruit of this plant. [After James Harvey Logan (1841-1928), American jurist and horticulturist.]

mountain cranberry n. See cowberry.

mulberry  n. 1.a. Any of several deciduous trees of the genus Morus, having unisexual flowers in drooping catkins and edible multiple fruit. b. The sweet fruit of any of these trees. 2. Any of several similar or related trees. 3. Color. A grayish to dark purple. In this sense, also called murrey. [Middle English mulberrie, from Old English m½rberie and Middle Low German m¿lberi, m¿rberi : both from Latin m½rum + Old English berie, berry or Old High German beri, berry; --mul"ber"ry adj.

nannyberry  n. See sheepberry. [From nanny goats' taste for them.]

naseberry  n. See sapodilla. [Alteration of Spanish néspera, from Latin mespila, medlar. See MEDLAR.]

  sapodilla  n. 1. An evergreen tree (Manilkara zapota) of Mexico and Central America, having latex that yields chicle and edible fruit with sweet yellow-brown flesh. 2. The fruit of this plant. Also called naseberry. [Spanish zapotillo, diminutive of zapote, sapodilla fruit, from Nahuatl tzapotl.]

  medlar  n. 1. A deciduous European tree (Mespilus germanica) having white flowers and edible apple-shaped fruit. 2. The fruit of this plant, eaten fresh or made into preserves. [Middle English medler, from Old French meslier, medler, from mesle, medle, fruit of the medlar, from Late Latin mespila, from Greek mespil.]

paper mulberry n. An eastern Asian ornamental deciduous tree (Broussonetia papyrifera) having bark that can be processed into a paperlike fabric.

partridgeberry  n. A creeping, evergreen, perennial plant (Mitchella repens) of eastern North America, having small white flowers and scarlet berries. Also called twinberry.

pokeberry  n. 1. The blackish-red berry of the pokeweed. 2. See pokeweed.
  pokeweed  n. A tall North American plant (Phytolacca americana) having small white flowers, blackish-red berries clustered on long, drooping racemes, and a poisonous root. Also called pokeberry, pokeroot. [poke4 + weed1.]

raspberry  n. 1. Any of various shrubby, usually prickly plants of the genus Rubus in the rose family, such as R. idaeus var. strigosus of eastern North America and R. idaeus of Europe, that bear edible fruit. 2. The aggregate fruit of any of these plants, consisting of many small, fleshy, usually red drupelets. 3. Color. A moderate to dark or deep purplish red. 4. Slang. A derisive or contemptuous sound made by vibrating the extended tongue and the lips while exhaling. [Obsolete raspis, raspberry + berry. Sense 4, possibly short for raspberry tart, rhyming slang for fart.]

red mulberry n. A deciduous eastern North American tree (Morus rubra) having irregularly lobed leaves and edible, fleshy, red to purple, multiple fruit.

salmonberry  n. 1. Any of several prickly shrubs of the genus Rubus, especially R. spectabilis of western North America, having trifoliate leaves and fragrant reddish flowers. 2. The edible salmon-colored, raspberrylike fruit of this plant.
sea gooseberry n. A ctenophore of the genus Pleurobrachia, having two tentacles and a round, iridescent body.

serviceberry  n. The shadbush or one of its fruit. [service (tree) + berry.]

shadberry  n. The fruit of the shadbush.

sheepberry  n. Either of two eastern North American shrubs or trees (Viburnum lentago or V. prunifolium) having clusters of white flowers and edible blue-black berries. Also called nannyberry.

silverberry  n. 1. A northeast North American shrub (Elaeagnus commutata) having silvery flowers, leaves, and berries. 2. See oleaster.

  oleaster  n. 1. A small Eurasian tree (Elaeagnus angustifolia) having oblong silvery leaves, fragrant greenish flowers, and olivelike fruit. 2. The fruit of this tree. Also called Russian olive, silverberry. [Middle English, from Latin, from olea, olive tree. See OLEAGINOUS.]

  oleaginous  adj. 1. Of or relating to oil. 2. Falsely or smugly earnest; unctuous: oleaginous flattery. [From Middle English oliaginose and from French oléagineux (from Old French) both from Latin ole³ginus, of the olive tree, from olea, olive tree, alteration (influenced by oleum, olive oil) of olºva. See OLIVE.]

  olive  n. 1. A Mediterranean evergreen tree (Olea europaea) having fragrant white flowers, usually lance-shaped leathery leaves, and edible drupes. 2. The small, ovoid fruit of this tree, an important food and source of oil. 3. Color. A yellow green of low to medium lightness and low to moderate saturation. [Middle English, from Latin olºva, from Greek elaia, elaiw³.] --ol"ive adj.

snowberry  n. 1. Any of various shrubs of the genus Symphoricarpos, especially S. albus of North America, having small pinkish flowers and white berries. 2. Any of various tropical American shrubs or vines of the genus Chiococca, having white globular fruit and small yellow or white flowers clustered in lateral racemes.

soapberry  n. 1.a. Any of various chiefly tropical trees of the genus Sapindus, having pulpy fruit that lathers like soap. b. The fruit of any of these trees. 2. The buffalo berry.

sparkleberry  n. See farkleberry.

spiceberry  n. 1. An eastern Asian shrub (Ardisia crenata) having numerous, long-lasting, coral-red fleshy fruit. 2. Coralberry.

strawberry  n. 1. Any of various low-growing plants of the genus Fragaria, having white flowers and an aggregate fruit that consists of a red, fleshy, edible receptacle and numerous seedlike fruitlets. 2. The aggregate fruit of this plant. [Middle English, from Old English strawberige : straw, straw; see STRAW + berige, berie, berry; see BERRY.]

WORD HISTORY: Izaak Walton's 1655 comment, "We may say of Angling as Dr. Boteler said of Strawberries; Doubtless God could have made a better berry, but doubtless God never did," is perhaps the nicest use of the word strawberry in its history. This history goes back much further in English to the Old English period when the word is first recorded. We know that strawberry was formed during that period from the Old English ancestors of our words straw and berry. What is not known is why the word straw is the first part of this compound. One possibility is that the small, one-seeded fruits on the surface of a strawberry resemble fragments of straw.

sugarberry  n. See hackberry.

teaberry  n. 1. See wintergreen. 2. See withe rod. [From the use of its leaves as a tea substitute.]

  withe rod n. An eastern North American deciduous shrub (Viburnum cassinoides) having clusters of small white flowers and bluish-black edible fruit. Also called Appalachian tea, teaberry.

thimbleberry  n. 1. Any of several North American raspberries, especially Rubus parviflorus, R. occidentalis, or R. odoratus of the rose family, having thimble-shaped aggregate fruit. 2. The fruit of any of these plants.
twinberry  n. 1. See partridgeberry. 2. A deciduous North American shrub (Lonicera involucrata) having shiny purple-black berries and paired flowers with a yellow tubular corolla.

waxberry  n. The waxy fruit of the wax myrtle or the snowberry.
white mulberry n. A deciduous Chinese tree (Morus alba) having edible whitish or purplish multiple fruit.

whortleberry  n. 1. Either of two deciduous shrubs, Vaccinium myrtillus, of Eurasia, or V. corymbosum, of eastern North America, having edible blackish berries. 2. The fruit of either of these plants. [Dialectal, variant of hurtleberry.]
winterberry  n. 1. Any of several North American shrubs of the genus Ilex, having showy red berries. 2. See black alder.

  black alder n. 1. A deciduous shrub or small tree (Ilex verticillata), the most widespread of North American hollies, growing in many variable forms from Minnesota to Texas and Georgia. Also called winterberry. 2. A Eurasian alder tree (Alnus glutinosa) that is sometimes cultivated in North America, especially for its ability to grow in soils too wet for many other trees.

wolfberry  n. A deciduous shrub (Symphoricarpos occidentalis) of western North America, having white berries and pinkish, bell-shaped flowers.
youngberry  n. 1. A trailing, prickly hybrid between a blackberry and a dewberry (Rubus ursinus cv. Young) of the rose family, cultivated in the western United States. 2. The edible, dark red berry of this plant. [After B.M. Young (fl. 1905), American fruit grower.]