One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A Eurasian ryegrass.
Genus Lolium, family Gramineae: several species
- ‘Persian darnel is an annual grass that is becoming a troublesome weed for many farmers in Western Canada.’
- ‘If you need to produce severe drunkenness in order that you may carry out painful treatment on an organ, dissolve in the drink half a dram of each of darnel, fumitory, opium and henbane and half a carat of myrobalan.’
- ‘Bearded Darnel is a common grass weed in English cornfields.’
- ‘Secondary cell wall deposition has been determined by other means, such as by measuring the thickness of the double wall between two fibre cells in internodes of reproductive tillers of darnel.’
- ‘Through conventional breeding, the sid gene has been transferred to forage and amenity grasses to produce stay-green varieties of ryegrass and darnel.’
Middle English: of unknown origin; apparently related to French ( Walloon dialect) darnelle.
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