Definition of devil's bit in English:

devil's bit


  • Any of a number of wild plants with a very short rootstock, said in folklore to have been bitten off by the devil.

    (also 'devil's bit scabious') a blue-flowered plant native to Eurasia and North Africa (Succisa pratensis, family Dipsacaceae).

    (North American) the blazing star (Chamaelirium luteum, family Liliaceae).

    • ‘This path comes out onto a chalk downland bank where you will find several varieties of orchid, devil's bit scabious, fairy flax and other specialized plants - often very small - according to their seasons.’
    • ‘Marsh Fritillary caterpillars for example eat the leaves of devil's bit scabious, but the adult butterflies feed on the nectar of buttercups, milkworts and thistles.’
    • ‘Interesting flora includes purple devil's bit scabious and lilac field scabious, the yellow daisy-like common fleabane and the tall, cream-flowered meadow sweet.’
    • ‘Areas with a high density of devil's bit scabious may be the key requirement within the grassland habitat.’
    • ‘A number of wildflower species, such as devil's bit scabious and poppy, occur and attract large numbers of butterflies and moths.’