One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Any of several willows (genus Salix) having reddish wood or bark, especially the polished willow, S. laevigata, of the western United States, and S. fragilis var. sanguinea, a cultivar of the crack willow.
2North American red osier dogwood, Cornus sericea;.
Mid 16th century; earliest use found in William Salesbury (d. c1580), translator and humanist scholar.
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