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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.]
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]
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]