silphium

noun sil·phi·um \ ˈsilfēəm \

Definition of silphium

1 plural silphia\-ēə\ : an extinct umbelliferous plant of the genus Ferula not definitely identifiable as to species but well known to the ancient Greeks and used by them medicinally
2 capitalized
[New Latin, from Latin]
: a large genus of tall North American perennial herbs (family Compositae) having coarse heads of yellow flowers with fertile rays and broad flat winged achenes — see cup plant

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Origin and Etymology of silphium

Latin, from Greek silphion; of North African origin


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