One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A plant of the genus Eryngium in the parsley family, especially (in gardening) sea holly.
- ‘They have planted a formal, yew-encircled rose garden, with blue-painted pergolas and arbours, and have recently planted a gravel garden beside the sea road, with cistus, eryngiums and grasses.’
- ‘In the herbaceous border they don't seem to care for eryngiums, paeonies, iris or kniphofias.’
- ‘One of my first choices is a new kind of eryngium, or Sea Holly.’
- ‘Take root cuttings of oriental poppies and eryngiums and put in pots of sandy soil in the cold frame.’
- ‘Whether this is true or not, eryngiums have become firmly ensconced in British gardens, with a plethora of species, hybrids and cultivars to choose from.’
Late 16th century: modern Latin, from Latin eryngion, from a diminutive of Greek ērungos ‘sea holly’.
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