One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounPlural spurries, Plural spurreys
A small widely distributed plant of the pink family, with pink or white flowers.
Genera Spergula and Spergularia, family Caryophyllaceae: several species, in particular corn spurrey (Spergula arvensis), a spindly weed of cornfields, and sand spurrey (Spergularia rubra), of sandy and gravelly soils
- ‘Corn spurrey is eaten avidly by many animals, particularly sheep, and has been included in seed mixtures.’
- ‘Some of these have been introduced to this site but they are all grown from local Ryedale seed, and the pimpernel and corn spurrey at least appeared by themselves.’
- ‘Once pastures and turf are well established, the spurrey usually cannot establish from seed due to competition.’
- ‘But perhaps more alarming is how so many once widespread plants, such as butterfly orchids and corn spurrey, have suffered in the modern landscape.’
- ‘Corn spurry is most common in coastal areas of the province, but occurs in all agricultural regions in BC.’
Late 16th century: from Dutch spurrie; probably related to medieval Latin spergula.
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