calamus

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calamus

(kăl`əməs): see arumarum,
common name for the Araceae, a plant family mainly composed of species of herbaceous terrestrial and epiphytic plants found in moist to wet habitats of the tropics and subtropics; some are native to temperate zones.
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sweetflag

sweetflag

Grass-like plant with cattail-type leaves and thin green “finger” sticking out from leaf stalk. The root is the part used, for indigestion (because it’s bitter), stomach, heartburn, spasms, colds, coughs, aphrodisiac.

Calamus

 

the hollow lower part of the shaft of a feather. The calamus is partly beneath and partly above the skin. It lacks a vane and is usually semitransparent. Inside the calamus is a membranous formation. The calami of the flight feathers, which experience considerable stress during flight, are attached to the bones of the wings.

References in periodicals archive ?
In the Psychedelics Encyclopedia, Peter Stafford notes that the oils in the calamus root "contain two psychoactive substances" "which are the natural precursors to TMA-2, a compound that has ten times the potency of mescaline" (286).
It may be impossible to prove definitively that Whitman knew of the calamus root's hallucinogenic potential and that he chose it to be a major trope in his poetic sequence based on this knowledge.
I will argue that Whitman's representation of the poetic speaker's psychological response to the calamus root closely resembles Ludlow's descriptions of hashish intoxication.
In the same way that Ludlow and many other Americans linked drugs with divisive psychological changes, Whitman establishes a causal relationship between the calamus root and the poetic speaker's remarkable, yet impenetrable, interiority.