One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Originally: a camomile, especially Chamaemelum nobile. In later use: any of the aromatic herbaceous plants and subshrubs of (or formerly of) the Eurasian genus Anthemis (family Asteraceae (Compositae)), having daisy-like inflorescences and finely divided foliage. Also (usually in form Anthemis): the genus itself.
Mid 16th century; earliest use found in William Turner (d. 1568), naturalist and religious controversialist. From classical Latin anthemis camomile (Pliny, adopted in scientific Latin as a genus name in Linnaeus Flora Lapponica 243) from Hellenistic Greek ἀνθεμίς, denoting various plants, especially wild camomile from ancient Greek ἄνθεμον camomile + -ίς.
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