One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A large subtropical tree, Diploknema (formerly Bassia) butyracea (family Sapotaceae), found in parts of southern and eastern Asia. Also: (chiefly attributive) the soft oily solid obtained from the seeds of this tree, used in cooking and various manufactured products.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in Asiatick Researches. From Hindi phūlvāra, ultimately from phūl flower.
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