One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small Eurasian plant of delicate appearance, with fine narrow leaves and scented white or lilac flowers. It was formerly used in the treatment of quinsy.
Asperula cynanchica, family Rubiaceae
- ‘Notable species include the exceptionally rare red star thistle, as well as wild clary and squinancywort.’
- ‘The rare cypress spurge grows in abundance here as does dyers greenweed and squinancywort.’
- ‘Some of the plants that are typical of ancient chalk grassland include marjoram, wild thyme, salad burnet, rock rose, eyebright and squinancywort.’
- ‘Other typical chalk grassland flowers include horseshoe vetch, squinancywort and the nationally rare field fleawort, together with wild candytuft and five species of orchid.’
- ‘The diverse flora includes fragrant, pyramidal, bee and frog orchid, clustered bellflower, bastard toadflax, squinancywort, sainfoin, horseshoe and kidney vetch and hairy violet.’
Early 18th century: from medieval Latin squinantia (apparently formed by confusion of Greek sunankhē with kunankhē ‘cynanche’, both denoting throat diseases) + wort.
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