wolfsbane

wolfsbane

[woolfs-beyn]
noun
any of several plants in the aconite genus Aconitum, including A. lycoctonum, bearing stalks of hood-shaped purplish-blue flowers, the monkshood A. napellus, which yields a poisonous alkaloid used medicinally, and numerous garden varieties in various colors.

Origin:
1540–50; wolf + 's1 + bane

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World English Dictionary
wolfsbane or wolf's-bane (ˈwʊlfsˌbeɪn)
 
n
any of several poisonous N temperate plants of the ranunculaceous genus Aconitum, esp A. lycoctonum, which has yellow hoodlike flowers
 
wolf's-bane or wolf's-bane
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

wolfsbane
"aconite" (especially Aconitum lycoctonum), 1548, from wolf + bane; a translation of L. lycoctonum, from Gk. lykotonon, from lykos "wolf" + base of kteinein "to kill."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

wolfsbane

any of 100 or more species of showy, poisonous, perennial herbs of the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae). They occur in the North Temperate Zone, usually in partial shade and in rich soil. The roots are thick or tuberous and the leaves have fingerlike lobes. The hood-shaped flowers, borne mostly in spikelike clusters, are usually purple or blue, sometimes yellow or white. There are five sepals and two to five petals.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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