platdoorn, noun

Forms:
Also plattdoorn, platdoring.
Origin:
AfrikaansShow more Afrikaans, plat flat + doorn (later doring) a thorn.
The stemless plant Arctopus echinatus of the Apiaceae, with a root which contains an aromatic balsam (used medicinally), and flat-lying leaves which are covered with stellate sharp spines; sieketroos.
1835 J.W.D. Moodie Ten Yrs in S. Afr. I. 233The ‘plat doorn’ (Arctopus echinatus, Lin.) has long been known to some of the surgeons of the colony.
[1837 Ecklon & Zeyher Enumeratio Plantarum Africae 354Arctopus echinatus..— Incolis: Plattdoorn.]
1913 C. Pettman Africanderisms 377Platdoorn,..This plant is also known among the Dutch as Ziekte troest..; a decoction is made from the root and used for all kinds of cutaneous eruptions.
1947 L.G. Green Tavern of Seas 199The platdoorn, which grows well in low country, forms an ancient Hottentot decoction for skin troubles.
1966 C.A. Smith Common Names 372Platdoring,..The much thickened root contains an aromatic balsam which was used medicinally at the Cape towards the close of the 17th century...The acaulescent habit of the plant and the unisexual flowers, together with the spiny bladdery fruits, make it a singular plant in the South African species of Umbelliferae.
The stemless plant Arctopus echinatus of the Apiaceae, with a root which contains an aromatic balsam (used medicinally), and flat-lying leaves which are covered with stellate sharp spines; sieketroos.
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18351966