One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A European mountain plant of the pink family, which forms cushion-like mounds and bears small greenish flowers.
- ‘As the day was improving all the time, we carried on upwards, slowly ascending Barkeval, on whose slopes moss campion, northern rock cress, stone bramble, and mossy cyphel and starry saxifrage were found.’
- ‘Even the mountain tops had carpets of Mountain Azalea, Moss Campion and Cyphel.’
- ‘Arctic-alpines also dominate here, usually moss campion and alpine lady's mantle, and sometimes cyphel.’
- ‘An ascent of Tom Buidhe over Meikle Kilrannoch reveals the breathtaking flowers of alpine catchfly as well as clumps of cyphel.’
- ‘Climb the Storr mountain and you will find a range of Arctic and Alpine plants: arctic clubmoss, mossy cyphel, purple saxifrage and Iceland purslane amongst others.’
Late Middle English (denoting the houseleek): apparently from Greek kuphella ‘hollows of the ears’.
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