One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Having small leaves; specifically having microphylls.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Benjamin Smart (d. 1872), elocutionist and grammarian. From micro- + -phyllous, probably after scientific Latin microphyllus, specific epithet (Linnaeus Species Plantarum), itself probably after ancient Greek μικρόϕυλλος with small leaves.
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