One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(of a leaf or frond) withering but remaining attached to the stem.
- ‘After tertiary capitula ripened, cauline leaves senesced and remained marcescent on the stems.’
- ‘Several trees normally have marcescent leaves such as oak (Quercus), beech (Fagus) and hornbeam (Carpinus).’
- ‘There seems to be no evidence that marcescent leaves provide additional cold protection.’
Early 18th century: from Latin marcescent- ‘beginning to wither’, from marcere ‘wither’.
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