bear grass

1. Also called elk grass. a tall, western North American plant, Xerophyllum tenax, of the lily family, having narrow leaves and a dense, broad cluster of tiny white flowers.
2. any of several other plants having linear, grasslike leaves, as those of the genera Nolina and Dasylirion.
[1740-50, Amer.]

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Either of two species of North American plants that make up the genus Xerophyllum, in the lily family.

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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plant
also called  turkey beard,  
 one of two species of North American plants constituting the genus Xerophyllum of the family Melanthiaceae. The western species, X. tenax, also is known as elk grass, squaw grass, and fire lily. It is a smooth, light-green mountain perennial with a stout, unbranched stem, from 0.6 to 2 metres (2 to 6 feet) high, which rises from a woody, tuber-like rootstock and cordlike roots. The stem bears a dense basal tuft of narrow, grasslike, rough-edged leaves, about one metre long; the leaves of the upper part of the stem are similar but much smaller. Flowering occurs at five to seven years. The top of the stem develops a large cluster of many small, creamy white flowers.

      The turkey beard (X. asphodeloides) of southern North America is a similar plant that grows in dry pine barrens. In the southern and southwestern United States the name bear grass is given to various kinds of yucca, especially to Yucca filamentosa and Y. glauca; also to the camas (Camassia scilloides) and the aloelike Dasylirion texanum, all of which have grasslike leaves.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • bear grass — bear′ grass or bear′grass n. 1) pln a tall W North American plant, Xerophyllum tenax, of the lily family, having grasslike foliage 2) pln any of several plants of the agave family, having linear, grasslike leaves, as those of the genera Nolina… …   From formal English to slang

  • Bear Grass — (Xerophyllum tenax) Obtained from a North American coarse and very strong fibre plant of the lily family, called also elk grass, squaw grass, and turkey beard. The Hupas and other North western Indians used the fibres of the leaves in making… …   Dictionary of the English textile terms

  • bear grass — noun 1. yucca of southern United States having a clump of basal grasslike leaves and a central stalk with a terminal raceme of small whitish flowers • Syn: ↑Yucca smalliana • Hypernyms: ↑yucca 2. yucca of west central United States having a clump …   Useful english dictionary

  • bear grass — pluoštinė juka statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Agavinių šeimos dekoratyvinis, vaistinis augalas (Yucca filamentosa), paplitęs Šiaurės Amerikoje. atitikmenys: lot. Yucca filamentosa angl. Adams needle; bear grass; bear grass; needle palm;… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • bear-grass — pluoštinė juka statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Agavinių šeimos dekoratyvinis, vaistinis augalas (Yucca filamentosa), paplitęs Šiaurės Amerikoje. atitikmenys: lot. Yucca filamentosa angl. Adams needle; bear grass; bear grass; needle palm;… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • bear grass — Yucca Yuc ca, n. [NL., from Yuca, its name in St. Domingo.] (Bot.) A genus of American liliaceous, sometimes arborescent, plants having long, pointed, and often rigid, leaves at the top of a more or less woody stem, and bearing a large panicle of …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • bear grass — melsvalapė nolina statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Nolininių šeimos augalas (Nolina interrata), paplitęs Kalifornijoje ir Meksikoje. atitikmenys: lot. Nolina interrata angl. bear grass; Dehesa beargrass isp. dehesa nolina šaltinis… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • bear grass — noun Date: 1750 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 …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • bear-grass — n. Yucca, Adam s needle, Spanish bayonet …   New dictionary of synonyms

  • Bear Grass, North Carolina — Infobox Settlement official name = Beargrass, North Carolina settlement type = Town nickname = motto = imagesize = image caption = image |pushpin pushpin label position =left pushpin map caption =Location within the state of North Carolina… …   Wikipedia

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