Herb [OE. herbe, erbe, OF. herbe, erbe, F. herbe, L. herba; perh. akin to Gr. φορβη phorbê food, pasture, φερβειν pherbein to feed.]


A plant whose stem does not become woody and permanent, but dies, at least down to the ground, after flowering.

⇒ Annual herbs live but one season; biennial herbs flower the second season, and then die; perennial herbs produce new stems year after year.


Grass; herbage.

And flocks Grazing the tender herb. Milton.

Herb bennet. Bot. See Bennet. -- Herb Christopher Bot., an herb (Actaea spicata), whose root is used in nervous diseases; the baneberry. The name is occasionally given to other plants, as the royal fern, the wood betony, etc. -- Herb Gerard Bot., the goutweed; -- so called in honor of St. Gerard, who used to be invoked against the gout. Dr. Prior. -- Herb grace, ∨ Herb of grace. Bot. See Rue. -- Herb Margaret Bot., the daisy. See Marguerite. -- Herb Paris Bot., an Old World plant related to the trillium (Paris quadrifolia), commonly reputed poisonous. -- Herb Robert Bot., a species of Geranium (G. Robertianum.)


© Webster 1913.