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spikenard (countable and uncountable, plural spikenards)

  1. A perfumed ointment.
    • 1916, James Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man:
      The glories of Mary held his soul captive : spikenard and myrrh and frankincense, symbolising the preciousness of God's gifts to her soul, rich garments, symbolising her royal lineage, her emblems, the lateflowering plant and lateblossoming tree, symbolising the agelong gradual growth of her cultus among men.
    • :
      While the king sitteth at his table, my spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof.
  2. The plant, Nardostachys grandiflora, from which the ointment comes.
    • :
      A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed. Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard, Spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices
  3. Nard, Lavandula stoechas, another species used in antiquity to produce an aromatic oil.
  4. Any plant of the genus Aralia of the Araliaceae family.
  5. False spikenard, or wild spikenard, plant species from the Smilacina genus
  6. Ploughman's-spikenard (Inula conyza).
  7. Wild spikenard (Asarum europaeum).

Derived terms[edit]


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Further reading[edit]