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bear grass

Also called elk grass. a tall, western North American plant, Xerophyllum tenax, of the lily family, having narrow leaves and a dense, broad cluster of tiny white flowers.
any of several other plants having linear, grasslike leaves, as those of the genera Nolina and Dasylirion.
Origin of bear grass
1740-50, Americanism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for bear-grass
Historical Examples
  • The yucca or bear-grass is in perfection; its massive flower scapes are very telling.

  • 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 Mabell S.C. Smith
  • It is for the construction of these baskets that the bear-grass forms an article of considerable traffic.

  • Hither also the tribes from the Rocky Mountains brought down horses, bear-grass, quamash, and other commodities of the interior.

    Astoria Washington Irving
  • As she lay crouched in the bear-grass there came to the girl clearly the crunch of wheels over disintegrated granite.

    A Texas Ranger William MacLeod Raine
  • It is formed of cedar-bark and bear-grass, so closely interwoven that it is water-tight, without the aid of either gum or resin.

  • The mother had dropped it or missed it in her panic, and the little thing lay whimpering in the bear-grass.

    When the West Was Young Frederick R. Bechdolt

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