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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History and Etymology for silphium

Latin, from Greek silphion; of North African origin

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Cite this Entry

“Silphium.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/silphium. Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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