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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Jalap \Jal"ap\, n. [F., fr. Sp. jalapa; -- so called from Jalapa, a town in Mexico, whence it was first obtained.] (Med.) The tubers of the Mexican plant Ipom[oe]a purga (or Exogonium purga) of the family Convolvulaceae, a climber much like the morning-glory. The abstract, extract, and powder, prepared from the tubers, are well known purgative (cathartic) medicines, and are also called jalap. Other species of Ipom[oe]a yield several inferior kinds of jalap, as the Ipom[oe]a Orizabensis, and Ipom[oe]a tuberosa. [1913 Webster] False jalap, the root of Mirabilis Jalapa, four-o'clock, or marvel of Peru. [1913 Webster]