One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small hairy European plant with divided leaves, growing as a weed of fields and waste places.
Aphanes arvensis, family Rosaceae
- ‘His Food for Free, published in the early 1970s, sent a generation of gourmets into the wilds to discover such delights as the rare dittander and parsley piert.’
Late 16th century: probably an altered form of French perce-pierre, literally ‘pierce stone’, used to denote various plants living in rock or wall crevices.
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