One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Any of several Japanese pine trees; especially either of two trees valuable for timber and also grown ornamentally, the Japanese red pine, Pinus densiflora, and the Japanese black pine, P. thunbergii; (also) the wood of these trees. Frequently as the second element in compounds: see aka-matsu, o-matsu.
Late 19th century. From Japanese matsu pine.
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