Definition of fever tree in US English:

fever tree


  • Any of a number of trees which are believed to either cause or cure fever.

    a North American tree used in the treatment of malaria during the Civil War (Pinckneya pubens, family Rubiaceae)

    a southern African tree that was formerly believed to cause malaria (Acacia xanthophloea, family Leguminosae)

    • ‘As the thick blue-grey clouds loomed, we left the surreal Dr Zeus-like ridgetops and drove down the thorn veldt past the lime green fever trees and into the Nsumu lake and wetland.’
    • ‘But their word for bark - the Peruvian is kina - was rendered in Spanish as quina, which came to be associated with the ‘fever tree’.’
    • ‘Bobbejaan was up the bank and into the topmost branches of the fever tree quick as you like!’
    • ‘Very soon, however, there could be no more Acacia erioloba, no Acacia karroo, no Acacia xanthophloea - otherwise known as camel thorn, sweet thorn and the green-trunked fever tree.’
    • ‘‘You must go down to the great, grey-green, greasy Limpopo River, all set about with fever trees, to find out what the crocodile has for lunch’, the Kolokolo bird tells the Elephant's Child.’
    • ‘I well remember sitting in my classroom, staring out of the window at murrum dust swirling around a dump of fever trees while the boys completed an exercise on the Armada, and thinking, ‘What on earth am I doing?’’
    • ‘The great grey-green greasy Grumeti river, all set about with fever trees, runs through the heart of the Serengeti.’
    • ‘The ‘fever tree’ was thought to cure malaria.’