One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Of a plant: (originally) †belonging or allied to the ferns (obsolete); (now) specifically belonging to the subfamily Pteridoideae (family Pteridaceae).
A fern, especially one belonging to the subfamily Pteridoideae.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in The Pall Mall Gazette. From classical Latin pterid-, pteris pteris + -oid, after scientific Latin Pteris, genus name. In later use after scientific Latin Pteridoideae, family name.
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