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1 definition found
 for Opuntia cochinellifera
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Cochineal \Coch"i*neal\ (k[o^]ch"[i^]*n[=e]l; 277), [Sp.
     cochinilla, dim. from L. coccineus, coccinus, scarlet, fr.
     coccum the kermes berry, G. ko`kkos berry, especially the
     kermes insect, used to dye scarlet, as the cochineal was
     formerly supposed to be the grain or seed of a plant, and
     this word was formerly defined to be the grain of the
     Quercus coccifera; but cf. also Sp. cochinilla wood louse,
     dim. of cochina sow, akin to F. cochon pig.]
     A dyestuff consisting of the dried bodies of females of the
     Coccus cacti, an insect native in Mexico, Central America,
     etc., and found on several species of cactus, esp. Opuntia
     [1913 Webster]
     Note: These insects are gathered from the plant, killed by
           the application of heat, and exposed to the sun to dry.
           When dried they resemble small, rough berries or seeds,
           of a brown or purple color, and form the cochineal of
           the shops, which is used for making carmine, and also
           as a red dye.
           [1913 Webster]
     Note: Cochineal contains as its essential coloring matter
           carminic acid, a purple red amorphous substance which
           yields carmine red.
           [1913 Webster]

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