1. An aromatic perennial herb (Nardostachys grandiflora) of the Himalaya Mountains, having rose-purple flowers. Also called nard.
2. An ointment of antiquity, probably prepared from this plant.
3. Any of several plants of the genus Aralia, especially the North American species A. racemosa, having small greenish flowers, aromatic roots, and bipinnately compound leaves.
[Middle English, from Anglo-Norman, from Medieval Latin spīca nardī : Latin spīca, spike, ear + Latin nardī, genitive of nardus, nard.]
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