One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A genus of the family Asteraceae (Compositae), consisting of coarse, viscous, heavy-scented plants allied to the sunflower, and native to western North America and Chile; (also madia) a plant of this genus, especially the Chilean Madia sativa, cultivated for its seeds, which yield a valuable oil and are made into cake for cattle.
Early 19th century. From scientific Latin Madia fromChilean Spanish madi (from Mapuche madi) + -a.
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