One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A Eurasian herbaceous plant with a spike of flesh-coloured flowers and a twisted root.
- ‘However, if this is done before July, many beautiful wild flowers, such as melancholy thistle, wood cranesbill and bistort, which are special to limestone uplands of the north, are mown down before they can seed.’
- ‘A stream runs along the western edge of the reserve, providing habitat for a different community of plants including sedges, yellow iris and amphibious bistort.’
- ‘Common wildflowers are a pink-flowered and a white-flowered bistort, Arctic shooting-star, three kinds of buttercups, Parrya nudicaulis, and Langsdorf's lousewort.’
- ‘It was mid-day and I thought the stroll would be better in the evening, the softer light heightening the delicate pink of the bistorts and though there might be more people the traffic noise would be less.’
- ‘There were trout from the Beggar, wild mushrooms in the autumn, lamb and free range poultry and eggs from farms far and wide, and soon it will be Easter Pudding from the bistort that grows by the beck.’
Early 16th century: from French bistorte or medieval Latin bistorta, from bis ‘twice’ + torta (feminine past participle of torquere ‘to twist’).
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