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A Eurasian genus of perennial herbs and shrubs of the family Lamiaceae (Labiatae), several kinds of which are grown ornamentally for their silvery-grey foliage; (also, in form ballota) a plant of this genus.
Late 18th century; earliest use found in Encyclopaedia Britannica. From scientific Latin Ballota (adopted as a genus name by Linnaeus in his Species plantarum II. 582, after his earlier use in Hortus Cliffortianus 311) from post-classical Latin ballote; compare -a.
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