bear grass


bear grass

noun

Definition of BEAR GRASS

:  any of several plants (genera Yucca, Nolina, or Xerophyllum) of the lily or agave families chiefly of the southern and western United States with foliage resembling coarse blades of grass

First Known Use of BEAR GRASS

1750

bear grass

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Either of two species of North American plants that make up the genus Xerophyllum, in the family Melanthiaceae. The western species, X. tenax, also known as elk grass, squaw grass, and fire lily, is a smooth, light-green mountain perennial with a stout, unbranched stem and grasslike, rough-edged leaves at the bottom. It flowers at five to seven years, bearing a large cluster of small creamy-white flowers at the top of the stem. The turkey beard (X. asphodeloides) of southern North America is a similar plant that grows in dry pine barrens. In the southern and southwestern U.S., the name bear grass is given to various kinds of yucca and to the camas (Camassia scilloides) and the aloelike Dasylirion texanum.

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