Anthoxanthum

noun An·tho·xan·thum \-thəm\

Definition of Anthoxanthum

  1. :  a genus of European grasses (family Poaceae) with contracted panicles, the spikelets consisting of one fertile floret and two sterile glumes below it — see sweet vernal grass

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Origin and Etymology of anthoxanthum

borrowed from New Latin (Linnaeus), Latinization of earlier anthoxanthon, from Greek antho- antho- + xanthón, neuter of xanthós “yellow”; so named from the yellowish color of the spike and seed in Anthoxanthum odoratum — more at xanth- Linnaeus borrowed the name from a Gramen Anthoxanthon described and illustrated in Historia generalis plantarum (Lyons, 1587) by the French physician and botanist Jacques Daléchamps (vol. 1, pp. 425-26).


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