One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A genus of deciduous or evergreen shrubs and small trees (family Rosaceae), native chiefly to eastern Asia and western North America, some species of which are cultivated for their ornamental foliage and berries; (also photinia) a plant of this genus.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in John Loudon (1783–1843), landscape gardener and horticultural writer. From scientific Latin Photinia, genus name from ancient Greek ϕωτεινός shining, bright, luminous + scientific Latin -ia, so called on account of the glossy foliage of many species.
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