alkanet definition by Webster's New World
- a perennial plant (Alkanna tinctoria) of the borage family, found in SE Europe and Asia Minor
- the root of this plant which yields a red dye
- the dark-red coloring matter, CHO, present in this root
- any of several other plants (genus Anchusa) of the borage family, grown for their red dyes or as garden plants
Origin: Middle English alknet ; from Spanish alcaneta, diminutive of alcana ; from Arabic al-ḥinnāʾ, the henna
alkanet definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- a. A European perennial herb (Alkanna tinctoria) having cymes of blue flowers and red roots.b. The root of this plant or the red dye extracted from the root.
- Any of various hairy plants of the Eurasian genus Anchusa, having blue or violet flowers grouped on elongated cymes.
Origin: Middle English, from Old Spanish alcaneta, diminutive of alcana, henna, from Medieval Latin alchanna, from Arabic al-ḥinnā’, the henna : al-, the + ḥinnā’, henna; see henna.