One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A genus of perennial, tufted, flowering herbs of the family Plumbaginaceae, which are native to (especially alpine and coastal) areas in Europe, Asia, America, and North Africa, many being cultivated widely as ornamental plants; (also armeria) a plant of this genus, of which the most widespread is common thrift, Armeria maritima.
Late 16th century (in an earlier sense). From post-classical Latin armeria any of various plants of the genus Dianthus, apparently from Middle French armerie (15th cent.; also armoirie, armorie; French † armoirie, † armerie), of unknown origin.
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