One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1The large quaking grass, Briza maxima, especially a variety with albino spikelets, grown for ornament.
2The onion couch, Arrhenatherum elatius var. bulbosum. Also (occasionally): the common couch grass, Elymus repens.
Mid 17th century; earliest use found in Thomas Johnson (d. 1644), apothecary and soldier. From pearl + grass.
pearl grass/ˈpəːl ɡrɑːs//ˈpəːl ɡras/
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