[syn: love-lies-bleeding, velvet flower, tassel flower, Amaranthus caudatus]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Tassel \Tas"sel\, n. [OE., a fastening of a mantle, OF. tassel a
fastening, clasp, F. tasseau a bracket, Fr. L. taxillus a
little die, dim. of talus a die of a longish shape, rounded
on two sides and marked only on the other four, a knuckle
1. A pendent ornament, attached to the corners of cushions,
to curtains, and the like, ending in a tuft of loose
threads or cords.
2. The flower or head of some plants, esp. when pendent.
And the maize field grew and ripened, Till it stood
in all the splendor
Of its garments green and yellow,
Of its tassels and its plumage. --Longfellow.
3. A narrow silk ribbon, or the like, sewed to a book to be
put between the leaves.
4. (Arch.) A piece of board that is laid upon a wall as a
sort of plate, to give a level surface to the ends of
floor timbers; -- rarely used in the United States.
Tassel flower (Bot.), a name of several composite plants of
the genus Cineraria, especially the Cineraria
sconchifolia, and of the blossoms which they bear.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: tropical Asiatic annual cultivated for its small tassel-
shaped heads of scarlet flowers [syn: tassel flower,
2: tropical African annual having scarlet tassel-shaped flower
heads; sometimes placed in genus Cacalia [syn: tassel
flower, Emilia coccinea, Emilia javanica, Emilia
flammea, Cacalia javanica, Cacalia lutea]
3: young leaves widely used as leaf vegetables; seeds used as
cereal [syn: love-lies-bleeding, velvet flower, tassel
flower, Amaranthus caudatus]