One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Any of numerous plants bearing fruit attractive to birds; especially (a) (chiefly North American) either of the North American plants pokeweed, Phytolacca americana (family Phytolaccaceae) (also in plural) and crackerberry, Cornus canadensis (family Cornaceae); (b) (Caribbean) the skyflower, Duranta erecta (family Verbenaceae), of the West Indies; (c) (Australian) the Port Jackson beech, Monotoca elliptica (family Epacridaceae), of Australia.
Mid 18th century; earliest use found in Andrew Burnaby (1732–1812), Church of England clergyman and traveller. From pigeon + berry.
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