One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Any of several plants of the genus Adonis, especially pheasant's eye, A. annua, a weed with bright red flowers and leaves like those of chamomile, formerly frequent in cornfields of southern England but now more commonly grown as an ornamental.
Early 17th century; earliest use found in Randle Cotgrave (fl. 1587–?1630), lexicographer.
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