One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A genus of stonecrops found chiefly in northern and Arctic parts of Europe and Asia; (also rhodiola) a plant of this genus, especially R. rosea, a yellow-flowered plant whose roots smell of roses when dried or bruised; (also) an extract of this, used especially in herbal medicine. Also called roseroot, Aaron's Rod.
Late 18th century; earliest use found in James Jenkinson (?1739–1808). From scientific Latin Rhodiola, genus name (earlier in post-classical Latin, Linnaeus Flora Lapponica 304, Hortus Cliffortianus 470) from post-classical Latin rhodius rose-like (from ancient Greek ῥόδον rose + classical Latin -ius, suffix forming adjectives) + -ola.
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