One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Any plant of the genus Anthericum (family Asparagaceae) or formerly belonging to it, which have rhizomatous or tuberous roots, narrow leaves, and bear racemes or panicles of star-like, usually white flowers; a spiderwort. Also (in form Anthericum): the genus itself.
Mid 18th century; earliest use found in John Hill (bap. 1714, d. 1775), physician and actor. From scientific Latin Anthericum, genus name (Linnaeus Genera plantarum 303) from classical Latin anthericus flowering stem of asphodel (Pliny: see below) + scientific Latin -um, neuter ending.
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