One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Any of several European shrubby alpine rhododendrons; especially Rhododendron hirsutum and R. ferrugineum; = "rose of the Alps".
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in The New Sporting Magazine. From German Alpenrose from either Alpen-, combining form of Alp mountain pasture, high mountain or Alpen, the name of the Alps + Rose.
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