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n. pl. es·par·tos
Either of two tough, wiry grasses (Stipa tenacissima or Lygeum spartum) of northern Africa and southern Europe, yielding fiber used in making paper and as cordage.

[Spanish, from Latin spartum, from Greek sparton, rope.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(ɛˈspɑːtəʊ) or

esparto grass

n, pl -tos
(Plants) any of various grasses, esp Stipa tenacissima of S Europe and N Africa, that yield a fibre used to make ropes, mats, etc. Also called: halfa
[C18: from Spanish, via Latin from Greek sparton rope made of rushes, from spartos a kind of rush]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ɪˈspɑr toʊ)

n., pl. -tos.
any of several grasses, esp. Stipa tenacissima, of S Europe and N Africa, used for making paper, cordage, etc.
Also called espar′to grass`.
[1585–95; < Sp < Latin spartum < Greek spárton rope made of spártos kind of rush]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


[eˈspɑːtəʊ] Nesparto m
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
The exploitation of esparto grass was abandoned many years ago in Libya and Morocco and is dying out in Algeria and Tunisia.
In particular they failed in their attempt to substitute esparto grass for rag before adopting wood as the basic raw material for the industry.
These include a collapsible salt-bag, a bottle with its neck in the middle, a rice-sifter, a stanchion to prop up other stanchions, a suet-container, a foghorn-key, a leather grape, a new method of stencilling on ivory, basalt cubes for roofing swimming-baths, a fox-trap, a dummy jellyfish, waterproof onions, false teeth for swordfish, a method of freezing meat-skewers, a hand-woven esparto grass egg-cosy which plays 'Thora' when released from the egg, a glass stilt, a revolving wheelbarrow, an iron thumb for postmen .
The Saltgrass in Hanover Place, which may have got its name from a nearby mill which used esparto grass to make paper.
These cheeses are very similar in appearance to their more famous cousin Manchego, complete with the customary zigzag pattern around the sides, a leftover from the traditional esparto grass straps used to bind the cheese, and the wheat ear pattern stamped on the top and bottom.
Tree-free fiber sources are as diverse as the agricultural byproducts wheat straw, corn and banana stalks, and rye grass; wild reeds and grasses (including bamboo and esparto grass); and industrial waste like textile remnants and bagasse, a sugarcane processing product.
Of course not all substitutes for rags and their processes attracted the same attention, and from the 1850s, efforts tended to focus on the two most likely substitutes to rags: wood and esparto grass. A third widely known alternative to rags was straw.
La Serena is formed into one-kilo disks that have a golden-yellow natural rind, and bear the imprint around the sides of the plaited esparto grass molds that hold the curds while they drain and set up.
In February, Moran and her company Living Tree Paper Company in Eugene, Oregon, printed their magazine Talking Leaves on the "first 100 percent tree-free hemp content paper." Her company's new Tradition Bond paper is 10 percent hemp, 10 percent esparto grass, 60 percent agricultural by-products (like cotton and flax), and 20 percent post-consumer recycled fibers.
Originally, the pattern was created by the esparto grass straps used to form the fresh Manchego.