Pronunciation: (snāk'rOOt", -root"), [key]
1. any of various plants whose roots have been regarded as a remedy for snakebites, as the herb Aristolochia serpentaria (Virginia snakeroot), having a medicinal rhizome and rootlets, and the white-flowered Polygala senega (Seneca snakeroot), having a medicinal root.
2. the root or rhizome of such a plant.
3. the North American bugbane.
4. a white eupatorium, Eupatorium rugosum.
5. a plant, Rauwolfia serpentina (or Rauvolfia serpentina), whose roots are the source of reserpine and other drugs.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.