- an aromatic, Indian plant, Nardostachys jatamansi, of the valerian family, believed to be the nard of the ancients.
- an aromatic substance used by the ancients, supposed to be obtained from this plant.
- any of various other plants, especially an American plant, Aralia racemosa, of the ginseng family, having an aromatic root.
Origin of spikenard
Examples from the Web for spikenard
Cumfrey and Spikenard are so well known that they need no describing.Mrs. Hale's Receipts for the Million
Sarah Josepha Hale
Spikenard and myrabolans from the province of Columbaia , 600 leagues from Calicut.
The Spikenard (Nardostachys jatamansi) belongs to the natural order Valerianace.The Romance of Plant Life
G. F. Scott Elliot
- an aromatic Indian valerianaceous plant, Nardostachys jatamans, having rose-purple flowers
- an aromatic ointment obtained from this plant
- any of various similar or related plants
- a North American araliaceous plant, Aralia racemosa, having small green flowers and an aromatic root
Word Origin and History for spikenard
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.