One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A herbaceous flowering plant other than a grass.
- ‘All of the foraging studies were limited to two classes of vegetation, grass and forbs.’
- ‘Fire exclusion has diminished natural pine reproduction as more fire-sensitive hardwoods, vines, briars, and forbs invade the understory.’
- ‘Species were classified according to their growth form; forbs include all herbaceous dicotyledonous species (including Fabaceae).’
- ‘Increases in annual or perennial forbs did not occur, contrary to prior studies of disturbances created by pocket gophers and other disturbance agents elsewhere.’
- ‘They also eat leaves, shoots, roots, tubers, and seeds of most grasses and forbs, or broadleafed flowering plants.’
1920s: from Greek phorbē ‘fodder’, from phorbein ‘to feed’.
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