One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A crystalline compound present in the bark and other parts of some trees (notably the horse chestnut, Aesculus hippocastanum), and used in tests to identify certain bacteria by means of its fluorescence.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in Chemist. From French esculine or its etymon Italian esculina from classical Latin aesculus (also esculus), denoting a species of oak, adopted in scientific Latin as genus name of the horse chestnut + Italian -ina.
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