One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Originally: the red buckeye, Aesculus pavia. Later: a genus (now usually regarded as a section of the genus Aesculus) comprising buckeyes having flowers with four petals and fruits with smooth rather than prickly capsules.
Mid 18th century; earliest use found in Philip Miller (1691–1771), horticulturist and writer. From scientific Latin Pavia, genus name from Pavius, Latinized form of the name of Peter Paaw, professor of botany at Leiden 1589–1617.
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