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From Powhatan poughkone. Puccoon thus forms a doublet with poke (pokeweed).



puccoon (countable and uncountable, plural puccoons)

  1. (countable, botany) Any one of several plants yielding a red pigment which is used by the North American Indians, such as the bloodroot and two species of Lithospermum, Lithospermum hirtum and Lithospermum canescens.
    • 2002, Stephen G Ausband, Byrd's line, page 62:
      The puccoon dye was used as a sort of body rouge; it rubbed off on English linen quite easily, as Byrd's men discovered.
  2. (uncountable) The red pigment (dye) obtained from these plants.
    • 1624, John Smith, Generall Historie, quoted by Kupperman in 1988, page 61:
      their head and shoulders [were] painted red, with Oyle and Pocones mingled together, which Scarlet-like colour made an exceeding handsome shew [...].

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