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1. Any of various plants that move or are believed to move in response to the sun, especially the Mediterranean species Chrozophora tinctoria.

[Middle English turnesole, dye made from C. tinctoria, from Old French tournesol, from Old Italian tornasole : tornare, to turn (from Latin tornāre; see turn) + sole, sun (from Latin sōl; see sāwel- in Indo-European roots).]


1. (Plants) any of various plants having flowers that are said to turn towards the sun
2. (Plants) a euphorbiaceous plant, Croton tinctoria, of the Mediterranean region that yields a purple dye
3. (Dyeing) the dye extracted from this plant
[C14: from Old French tournesole, from Old Italian tornasole, from tornare to turn + sole sun, from Latin sōl sun]



1. any of several plants regarded as turning with the movement of the sun.
2. a European plant, Chrozophora tinctoria, of the spurge family, yielding a purple dye.
3. the dye itself; litmus.
[1325–75; Middle English turnesole < Middle French tournesol < Italian tornasole, literally, (it) turns (toward the) sun, on the model of Greek hēliotrópion heliotrope]
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References in periodicals archive ?
The reflectance spectrum shows two absorption bands at 540 nm and 580 nm (Figure 6(a)) that could be related to the presence of folium (or turnsole), a colorant produced by Chrozophora tinctoria plant, widely used on manuscripts [42].
Following the week-long visit to PROINSO's HQ in the UK, with a 2-day complementary training session on PROINSO PV Rack, TURNSOLE and SMA's inverter and energy storage solutions, Electric Solar and PROINSO have agreed to add a 4MW joint pipeline for Honduras in 2017; setting the ground for a long-term partnership between the two companies.
It is identified as dyer's croton, giradol, or turnsole and is inhabitant to Africa, tropical Asia, and Europe [9].
Look at the variety of both abstract and concrete entities, which carry Old Sol's name (5): An element (Helium), a body part (solar plexus), a geographical area (the Sun Belt of the United States), several plants (e.g., Helianthus annuity or the sunflower, heliotrope, also known as turnsole, and Helenium or sneeze-weed, also called swamp sunflower), and a North American Indian ceremony (sun dance); the latter first became the source of the name of a small town in Wyoming (Sundance with a population of 1182), then of Harry Alonzo Longabaugh's nickname (the Sundance Kid, for having stolen a horse there in 1887).
Red came from sandalwood, purple from turnsole, a Mediterranean plant, and black from boiled blood.