One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A genus of small damp-loving plants of the family Parnassiaceae (often included in Saxifragaceae), natives of temperate or cold regions of the northern hemisphere, which have solitary, usually white, prominently veined flowers and mostly radical ovate or cordate leaves; (also parnassia) a plant of this genus, especially grass of Parnassus, P. palustris.
Early 18th century. From post-classical Latin Parnassia from classical Latin Parnassus + -ia, apparently so called on account of its similarity to a plant described by Dioscorides as growing on Mount Parnassus.
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