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See also: cañaigre



A canaigre (Rumex hymenosepalus; sense 1) in Red Rock Canyon, Nevada, USA.

Possibly from Mexican Spanish canaigre, cañagre, cañaigre, variants of cañagria, from caña agria (canaigre, literally sour cane), from caña (cane; reed) (ultimately from Sumerian 𒄀𒈾 ( + agria (feminine singular of agrio (sour), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *h₂eḱ- (sharp)).[1]



canaigre (uncountable)

  1. (US) Rumex hymenosepalus, a species of dock native to southwestern North America with edible red stems and taproots containing tannin. [from mid 19th c.]
    Synonyms: tanner's dock, wild rhubarb
    • 1879 June, Henry B. Parsons, “Some Constituents of Plants”, in Fred[ric]k A. Castle and Charles Rice, editors, New Remedies: An Illustrated Monthly Trade Journal of Materia Medica, Pharmacy and Therapeutics, volume VIII, number 6 (number 60 overall), New York, N.Y.: William Wood & Company [], OCLC 702666459, page 170, column 1:
      The true tannic acids are also widely distributed; [] in roots, as in the Texas plant, a Rumex commonly known as "Cañaigre;" []
    • 1882, Albert J[ennings] Fountain, “Canaigre”, in Report of Dona Ana County, Santa Fe, N.M.: Bureau of Immigration of the Territory of New Mexico; New Mexican P[r]int., OCLC 54485815, page 9:
      The Commissioner of Agriculture, in his report for 1878, speaking of this plant, says: "The examination of the canaigre, for tannin, shows the existence of a very abundant source of this important material, and gives reason for the belief that the latter at least may soon afford a cheap supply to the arts.["]
    • 1893 February, “Science in Farming. [A New Tanning Plant.]”, in The American Agriculturist: For the Farm, Garden & Household, volume LII, number 2, New York, N.Y.: Orange Judd Company [], OCLC 1066867482, page 102, column 3:
      The native people of the Southwest have for many years made a very soft, impervious and durable leather by tanning hides with an extract of the roots of the cañaigre, Rumex hymenosepalus.
    • 1895, “Concerning Canaigre”, in The Deseret Weekly, volume 51, Salt Lake City, Ut.: Deseret News Co., OCLC 615159621, page 675:
      Considerable attention is being paid by the press to canaigre as a plant, the cultivation of which may become profitable in this State, and it seems probable that it may become one of the valuable minor industries.
    • 1898, W. R. Dodson; W[illia]m C[arter] Stubbs, “Grasses, Clovers, Forage and Economic Crops. [Economic Plants Exclusive of Hay and Forage.]”, in Bulletin of the Agricultural Research Station of Louisiana State University and A. & M. College (2nd Series; no. 53), Baton Rouge, La.: Bureau of Agriculture and Immigration; [] Truth Book and Job Office, OCLC 20154334, page 51:
      cannaigre or tanner's dock (Rumex hymenosepalus), a plant now being cultivated in the Western States for the production of tannin.
    • 1924 January 26, W. W. Skinner, witness, “Bureau of Chemistry. Statements of Dr. Charles A. Browne, Chief of Bureau; Dr. W. W. Skinner, Assistant Chief of Bureau; []”, in Agricultural Appropriation Bill, 1925: Hearings before Subcommittee of House Committee on Appropriations [] in Charge of Agricultural Appropriation Bill for 1925: Sixty-eighth Congress, First Session, Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, OCLC 43578645, page 370:
      Some years ago, when I was connected with the Arizona Experiment Station, some efforts in that direction were being made with a plant grown down in that country called Canigre. That is a plant that grows wild in certain sections of the Southwest, but because of its being a two-year crop and because of the fact that in order to make it productive, a very large amount of water was required, which made it an irrigation proposition, we determined that it would be an unprofitable crop at that time.
    • 1999, Steven Foster; Varro E[ugene] Tyler, “Canaigre”, in Tyler’s Honest Herbal: A Sensible Guide to the Use of Herbs and Related Remedies, 4th edition, New York, N.Y.; Abingdon, Oxfordshire: Routledge, published 2009, →ISBN, page 87:
      Canaigre, the root of Rumex hymenosepalus Torr., was marketed in the late 1970s under such coined names of modern vintage as wild red American ginseng and wild red desert ginseng. [] It is obvious that the attempt to promote canaigre as a kind of American ginseng is a recent-day deceptive practice, probably due to the high prices now commanded by ginseng. Canaigre does not contain any of the active panaxoside-like saponin glycosides responsible for ginseng's physiological activities.
    • 2000, Alfonso R. Gennaro, editor, Remington: The Science and Practice of Pharmacy, 20th edition, Baltimore, Md.: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, →ISBN, page 439, column 2:
      Other teas that are potentially toxic include canigre, guarana, maté, foti and comfrey (discussed below).
    • 2001, Mary [Caroline] Montaño, “Cocina y Salud: Foodways and Healing Arts”, in Tradiciones Neuvomexicanas: Hispano Arts and Culture of New Mexico, Albuquerque, N.M.: University of New Mexico Press, →ISBN, page 247, column 1:
      Cañaigre is used as a gargle for sore throats, as a mouthwash for pyorrhea and gum inflammations, and its powder is applied to prevent skin irritations.
    • 2016, S[uraj] L[al] Kochhar, “Vegetable Tannins and Dyestuffs”, in Economic Botany: A Comprehensive Study, 5th edition, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire; New York, N.Y.: Cambridge University Press, →ISBN, page 515:
      Canaigre is one of the few tanstuffs that seems to be well adapted to mechanised agriculture, should it become an economic crop. A native of the south-western US and northern Mexico, the tuberous roots of canaigre have been used for centuries by the Mexicans for tanning leather. [] Canaigre, looking much like the familiar dock weed, has a fleshy tuberous root that looks similar to a parsnip or a carrot.
  2. (US) Tannin-containing matter obtained from the taproots of the plant.
    • 1892 November 15, “Other Industries”, in Annual Report of the Secretary of the Interior, Washington, D.C.: Department of the Interior, OCLC 890566312, page CII:
      The preparation of an extract of cañaigre for tanning is a new industry, []. The cañaigre extract will be used for light leather, and it is expected that a ready market can be found in England for the whole product, at very profitable prices, and the plant can be raised upon land which is practically useless for other agricultural purposes.
    • 1954, Zentralblatt für Bakteriologie, Parasitenkunde, Infektionskrankheiten und Hygiene: Medizinisch-hygienische, Bakteriologie, Virusforschung und Parasitologie [Journal for Bacteriology, Parasitology, Infectious Dieases and Hygiene: Medical Hygiene, Bacteriology, Virus Research and Parasitology], volume 161, Jena, Thuringia: Gustav Fischer Verlag, OCLC 7903923, page 352:
      Futhermore, other vegetable tannins, such as ground Canigre, Quebracho, Babul bark, Mimosa tannin and pure tannic acid are found to have a similar virucidal effect and are as acerin not bactericidal.

Alternative forms[edit]



  1. ^ Compare “canaigre, n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2017; “canaigre, n.”, in Lexico,; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.

Further reading[edit]




canaigre m (uncountable)

  1. (obsolete) canaigre
    Synonym: caña agria
    • 1894, “Un Nuevo Tanino”, in Boletin de agricultura, minería é industrias, number 1-3, page 189:
      En el informe en cuestión se da un cuadro que demuestra que el canaigre de uno ó dos años era riquísimo en tal material, en muestras procedentes de las tierras margosas de Florencia, de las arenosas de la propia comarca y de las arenosas de las riberas del río de la Sal.
      (please add an English translation of this quote)
    • 1919, La Hacienda, volume 15:
      Canaigre es el nombre comercial de la raíz de una especie debardana amarilla, conocida por los botánicos como Rumex Hymenosepalus, una planta perenne, o hierba, llamada ruibarbo silvestre.
      (please add an English translation of this quote)
    • 1920 May, El ingeniero y contratista: Revista dedicada exclusivamente a mequinaria y asuntos de ingenieria, OCLC 875211694, page 33:
      El tanino rara vez se usa solo; generalmente se mezcla con carbonato, hidrato o silicato sódico. El tanino se obtiene de una gran variedad de fuentes, entre las cuales figuran las cortezas de pinabete y roble, el quebracho, el canaigre, la raiz de palmito, el zumaque y el dividivi.
      (please add an English translation of this quote)

Further reading[edit]