One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A berry of a blood-red colour.
2A perennial shrub, Rivina humilis (family Phytolaccaceae), of the southern United States and tropical America, which bears pale pink flowers and blood-red berries.
Mid 18th century; earliest use found in William Tooke (bap. 1744, d. 1820), writer and translator.
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