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moonseed

[moon-seed] /ˈmunˌsid/
noun
1.
any climbing plant of the genus Menispermum, having greenish-white flowers and crescent-shaped seeds.
Origin
1730-1740
1730-40; moon + seed
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for moonseed
  • If it has a single seed in the shape of a crescent moon, it's moonseed, which is thought to be poisonous.
  • moonseed vines are neither woody nor easily shredded.
British Dictionary definitions for moonseed

moonseed

/ˈmuːnˌsiːd/
noun
1.
any menispermaceous climbing plant of the genus Menispermum and related genera, having red or black fruits with crescent-shaped or ring-shaped seeds
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Encyclopedia Article for moonseed

any of three species of woody vines constituting the genus Menispermum of the family Menispermaceae (order Ranunculales). They occur in East Asia, eastern North America, and Mexico. The North American species, Canada moonseed, or yellow parilla (M. canadense), with lobed leaves and greenish-white flowers, bears black, grapelike fruit with crescent-shaped seeds. M. dauricum, from East Asia, and M. mexicanum, from Mexico, have similar properties. In particular, the seeds of all these species may cause a curare-like poisoning; one of the ingredients in curare comes from another member of Menispermaceae (Chondrodendron tomentosum).

Learn more about moonseed with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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11
13
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