A small, dark brown, shiny seed from the Plantago psyllium plant native to Southern Europe. Fleaseed contains a mucilaginous compound that is extracted in boiling water. This starchy solution was used for sizing silk and paper and printing textiles. It was also used in conjunction with gum tragacanth for marbling papers.
Synonyms and Related Terms
Plantago psyllium; psyllium; psillio (It); fleawort
Sources Checked for Data in Record
- Matt Roberts, Don Etherington, Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: a Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1982
- Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997 Comment: fleawort
- The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998