Definition of goatweed in English:



  • 1A perennial shrub, Capraria biflora (family Scrophulariaceae), native to North and South America, used as a tea and medicinal herb, having white campanulate flowers, hairy stems, and hairy leaves.

  • 2A flowering plant, Scoparia dulcis (family Plantaginaceae), native to tropical parts of the Americas, used as a medicinal herb, having erect branches, serrated leaves, and small white or pale purple flowers. Also: †a flowering plant, Stemodia durantifolia (family Plantaginaceae), having hairy, erect stems, toothed leaves, and violet flowers (obsolete).

  • 3An annual herbaceous plant with a goat-like scent, Ageratum conyzoides (family Asteraceae), native to tropical America, having erect, hairy stems, ovate leaves, and small white, pale blue, or pale pink flowers forming corymbs.

  • 4US. Any of several annual plants of the genus Croton (family Euphorbiaceae) with a goat-like scent, especially C. capitatus, having erect, branched stems, tiny flowers in terminal clusters, and hairy greyish green leaves, native to the southern United States and regarded as an agricultural weed.

  • 5US. St John's-wort, Hypericum perforatum (family Hypericaceae).


Mid 18th century; earliest use found in Patrick Browne (c1720–1790), physician and botanist. From goat + weed.