toothwort

toothwort

[tooth-wurt, -wawrt]
noun
1.
a European plant, Lathraea squamaria, of the broomrape family, having a rootstock covered with toothlike scales.
2.
Also called pepperroot. any of several plants belonging to the genus Dentaria, of the mustard family, having toothlike projections upon the creeping rootstock.

Origin:
1590–1600; tooth + wort2

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World English Dictionary
toothwort (ˈtuːθˌwɜːt)
 
n
1.  a parasitic European scrophulariaceous plant, Lathraea squamaria, having no green parts, scaly cream or pink stems, pinkish flowers, and a rhizome covered with toothlike scales
2.  See also crinkleroot any North American or Eurasian plant of the genus Dentaria, having creeping rhizomes covered with toothlike projections: family Brassicaceae (crucifers)

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

toothwort

any of about 10 species of perennial herbs belonging to the genus Dentaria, of the mustard family (Brassicaceae), native to northern temperate areas. The name toothwort refers to the plant's toothed, or scaly, rootstock. The four-petaled flowers, borne in a terminal cluster, are white, pink, or pale purple. Toothwort, pepperwort, or crinklewort (D. diphylla), native to moist woods of North America, bears one pair of stem leaves, each of which is divided into three broad leaflets. Cut-leaved toothwort (D. laciniata), from the same area, has a whorl of three stem leaves. Each leaf is deeply cut into three narrow, bluntly toothed segments.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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