Meaning of devil's bit in English:

devil's bit


  • Any of a number of wild plants with a very short rootstock, said in folklore to have been bitten off by the devil.

    (also 'devil's bit scabious') a blue-flowered plant native to Eurasia and North Africa (Succisa pratensis, family Dipsacaceae).
    (North American) the blazing star (Chamaelirium luteum, family Liliaceae).

    ‘Interesting flora includes purple devil's bit scabious and lilac field scabious, the yellow daisy-like common fleabane and the tall, cream-flowered meadow sweet.’
    • ‘Areas with a high density of devil's bit scabious may be the key requirement within the grassland habitat.’
    • ‘A number of wildflower species, such as devil's bit scabious and poppy, occur and attract large numbers of butterflies and moths.’
    • ‘Marsh Fritillary caterpillars for example eat the leaves of devil's bit scabious, but the adult butterflies feed on the nectar of buttercups, milkworts and thistles.’
    • ‘This path comes out onto a chalk downland bank where you will find several varieties of orchid, devil's bit scabious, fairy flax and other specialized plants - often very small - according to their seasons.’