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In the science fiction novel The Day of the Triffids (1951) by John Wyndham, the triffids are a race of predatory plants which are capable of growing to a gigantic size and are possessed of locomotor ability and a poisonous sting. The name is used allusively of plants showing vigorous growth, or more widely to denote invasive and rapid development.

The name is probably an alteration of trifid ‘divided into three’, as the original plants were supported on ‘three bluntly-tapered projections’.

Subjects: Literature.

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