It comes in hard whitish or yellowish flakes or filaments, and is nearly insoluble in water, but slowly swells into a mucilaginous mass, which is used as a substitute for gum arabic in medicine and the arts.
Synonym: gum tragacanth.
Origin: L. Tragacanthum tragacanth, tragacantha the plant producing tragacanth, Gr. A he-goat _ a thorn: cf. F. Tragacanthe.