The spikenard (Nardostachys jatamansi) belongs to the natural order Valerianace.
Cumfrey and spikenard are so well known that they need no describing.
spikenard and myrabolans from the province of Columbaia , 600 leagues from Calicut.
mid-14c., "aromatic substance from an Indian plant," from Medieval Latin spica nardi (see spike (n.2)), rendering Greek nardou stakhys; the second element probably ultimately from Sanskrit nalada-, the name of the plant.
(Heb. nerd), a much-valued perfume (Cant. 1:12; 4:13, 14). It was "very precious", i.e., very costly (Mark 14:3; John 12:3,5). It is the root of an Indian plant, the Nardostachys jatamansi, of the family of Valeriance, growing on the Himalaya mountains. It is distinguished by its having many hairy spikes shooting out from one root. It is called by the Arabs sunbul Hindi, "the Indian spike." In the New Testament this word is the rendering of the Greek nardos pistike. The margin of the Revised Version in these passages has "pistic nard," pistic being perhaps a local name. Some take it to mean genuine, and others liquid. The most probable opinion is that the word pistike designates the nard as genuine or faithfully prepared.