One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The Barbados cherry, Malpighia glabra (family Malpighiaceae); the edible fruit of this tree, rich in vitamin C and used to make syrups, vitamin supplements, etc.
1950s; earliest use found in Science News. From American Spanish acerola, transferred use (apparently on account of its similar appearance) of Spanish acerola the fruit of the azarole hawthorn, Crataegus azarolus (1612; earlier as azerolla and, in regional use in Aragon, as azarolla) from colloquial Arabic al-zaʿrūra, denoting both the tree and its fruit from al the + zaʿrūra, colloquial variant of zuʿrūra, singular form corresponding to zuʿrūr. Compare French azerole, Catalan atzerola, sorolla, Portuguese acerola Barbados cherry, azarola azarole.
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