oxford views updated May 18 2018
One of the biggest families of flowering plants, comprising trees, shrubs, and a few herbs
, in which the leaves are simple
, and usually have interpetiolar stipules
. The flowers are hermaphrodite and tetra-
, the corolla
tubular, the stamens epipetalous
, and the ovary inferior
. Various species are the source of quinine, coffee, and many ornamentals. There are about 637 genera, and 10700 species, with a cosmopolitan distribution
, but strongly centred in the tropics.
oxford views updated May 29 2018
mad·der / ˈmadər/ •
n. a scrambling or prostrate Eurasian plant (genera Rubia and Sherardia) of the bedstraw family, with whorls of four to six leaves, in particular R. tinctorum of southern Europe and western Asia, formerly cultivated for its root, which yields a red dye. ∎ a red dye or pigment obtained from the root of this plant, or a synthetic dye resembling it.
oxford views updated Jun 11 2018
herbaceous climbing plant cultivated for a dye-stuff; formerly in wider use. OE. mædere
, corr. to OHG. matara
, ON. maðra
, rel. to MLG., MDu. mēde
; of uncert. orig.