noun (plural plumbagos)
1 old-fashioned term for graphite.
Early 17th century (denoting an ore such as galena containing lead): from Latin, from plumbum 'lead'. The sense 'graphite' arose through its use for pencil leads
- The only mine in Great Britain which yields plumbago, or black lead as it is called, suitable for pencil-making, is situated in one of the mountains at Borrowdale, in Cumberland, and is about 1000 ft. deep.
- For no matter how hard they looked, no one could find a second deposit of plumbago that could be cut into sticks and used to make pencils
2An evergreen flowering shrub or climber that is widely distributed in warm regions and grown elsewhere as a greenhouse or indoor plant. Also called leadwort.
Named from the color of the flowers
- Genus Plumbago, family Plumbaginaceae.
- I have several blue plumbagos in pots on my patio, and they do very well.
- The planter behind is filled with fragrant vines; two ‘Royal Cape’ plumbagos in red pots flank the front posts.
- Prune greenhouse and conservatory climbers, such as plumbago and passionflower.
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