One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small creeping Eurasian plant with yellow and purple flowers, widely occurring in cornfields.
Genus Kickxia, family Scrophulariaceae: two species
- ‘With their whimsical ancient names such as corncockle, mousetail, fluellen, fumitory, downy hemp-nettle and lamb's succory, they have music as well as colour.’
- ‘Rare fluellen is allowed to flourish in the vegetable garden because it needs arable land and is losing its natural habitat.’
- ‘The wonderfully named Venus's looking-glass, shepherd's needle, devil's curry-comb and round-leaved fluellen, have mostly been driven out.’
Mid 16th century: alteration of Welsh llysiau Llywelyn ‘Llewelyn's herbs’; compare with Fluellen, used by Shakespeare to represent the Welsh name Llywelyn.
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