1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Shrub

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SHRUB. (1) A bushy plant whose stem is woody and branches out thickly from the ground, not attaining sufficient height to be called a tree; this smallness of vertical growth is natural or is effected by cutting and lopping at an early stage or at stated seasons. The term is loose in application and the line between shrubs, trees and certain woody herbaceous plants is not easy to draw. The holly, the yew, the laurel, if allowed to grow from a single stem, become trees, other plants such as rhododendron, syringa, the eponymous are properly shrubs. The word is the same as “scrub,” low, stunted undergrowth, in O. Eng. scrob; the root, which is also seen in “shrimp” and “shrivel,” means to contract. Many English place-names contain the word, the most familiar being Shrewsbury (Scrobbesbyrig) and Wormwood Scrubs. (2) The name of a drink or cordial, now rarely found except in country districts. It is made of currant juice boiled with water and sugar to which some spirit, usually rum, is added. Another form of the drink is made of rum, orange and lemon juice, peel, sugar and water. The word is an adaptation of the Arabic sharb or sharab, beverage, drink, shariba, he drank, and is thus directly related to “sherbet” and “syrup” (q.v.).