/al"keuh net'/, n.
1. a European plant, Alkanna tinctoria, of the borage family.
2. the root of this plant, yielding a red dye.
3. the dye itself.
4. any of several similar hairy plants, as the bugloss, Anchusa officinalis, or a puccoon of the genus Lithospermum.
[1300-50; ME < OSp alcaneta, equiv. to alcan(a) henna (plant) ( < ML alchanna < Ar al the + hinna' henna) + -eta dim. suffix]

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 any plant of the 50 or so mostly Mediterranean species of the genus Anchusa and the closely related Pentaglottis sempervirens, bearing blue, purple, or white forget-me-not–like flower clusters on hairy, herbaceous stems. They belong to the family Boraginaceae. True alkanet (A. officinalis) bears purple flowers in coiled sprays, on narrow-leaved plants, 60 cm (2 feet) tall. Large blue alkanet (A. azurea), popular as a garden species, reaches 120 cm (4 feet) and has large, bright-blue flowers with a tuft of white hairs in the throats, and narrow leaves. Oval, pointed evergreen leaves and white-eyed blue flowers characterize the evergreen alkanet (Pentaglottis sempervirens), which reaches 100 cm (3 1/3 feet). All three species grow in fields and roadside waste spaces. True alkanet has become naturalized in some areas of eastern North America.

      The closely related Alkanna tinctoria is dyer's alkanet. Its roots yield a water-insoluble red dye used to colour fat, oil, perfume, wood, marble, and pharmaceutical products.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Alkanet — is the name of several related plants in the borage family (Boraginaceae): Alkanet or common bugloss, Anchusa officinalis Alkanet or dyers bugloss, Alkanna tinctoria, the source of a red dye; the plant most commonly called simply alkanet Various… …   Wikipedia

  • Alkanet — Al ka*net ([a^]l k[.a]*n[e^]t), n. [Dim. of Sp. alcana, alhe[ n]a, in which al is the Ar. article. See {Henna}, and cf. {Orchanet}.] 1. (Chem.) A dyeing matter extracted from the roots of {Alkanna tinctoria}, which gives a fine deep red color.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • alkanet — (n.) dye material from bugloss plant roots, early 14c., from Sp. alcaneta, dim. of alcana, from Arabic al hinna (see HENNA (Cf. henna)). As the name of the plant itself, from 1560s …   Etymology dictionary

  • Alkanet — alkanet; red dye made from the root of a plant so named (or orcanet ); a member of the bugloss family …   Medieval glossary

  • alkanet — [al′kə net΄] n. [ME alknet < Sp alcaneta, dim. of alcana < Ar al ḥinnāʾ, the henna] 1. a) a perennial plant (Alkanna tinctoria) of the borage family, found in SE Europe and Asia Minor b) the root of this plant which yields a red dye c) the… …   English World dictionary

  • alkanet — dažinė alkana statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Agurklinių šeimos dažinis, vaistinis augalas (Alkanna tinctoria), paplitęs šiaurės Afrikoje ir pietų Europoje. atitikmenys: lot. Alkanna tinctoria; Alkanna tuberculata angl. alkanet; alkanna;… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • alkanet — Bugloss Bu gloss, n.; pl. {Buglosses}. [F. buglosse, L. buglossa, buglossus, fr. Gr. ? oxtongue ? ox + ? tongue.] (Bot.) A plant of the genus {Anchusa}, and especially the {Anchusa officinalis}, sometimes called {alkanet}; oxtongue. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • alkanet — vaistinis godas statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Agurklinių šeimos dažinis, dekoratyvinis, vaistinis augalas (Anchusa officinalis), paplitęs Europoje ir Azijoje. atitikmenys: lot. Anchusa officinalis angl. alkanet; bugloss; common bugloss;… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • alkanet — noun Etymology: Middle English, from Medieval Latin alcannetta, from Arabic al ḥanna, al ḥinnā the henna Date: 14th century 1. a. a European plant (Alkanna tinctoria) of the borage family; also its root b. a red dyestuff pr …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • alkanet — noun A particular plant whose root is used as a dye …   Wiktionary

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