One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A genus of small cruciferous herbs, widespread in temperate Eurasia and North America, and found especially in dry, sandy, stony, or saline habitats. Also (also in form arabidopsis): a plant of this genus; (in later use) especially thale cress, Arabidopsis thaliana, which has simple leaves and white flowers, and is used widely in studies of plant genetics.
Mid 19th century. From scientific Latin Arabidopsis (A. P. de Candolle Regni vegetabilis systema naturale II. 480; adopted as a genus name by G. Heynhold in F. Holl & G. Heynhold Flora von Sachsen I. 538) from Arabis, genus name + -d- (after Latin nouns in -id-, -is; compare -id) + ancient Greek ὄψις appearance.
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