One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An annual plant with oval perfoliate leaves and umbels of small greenish-yellow flowers with conspicuous bracts, Bupleurum rotundifolium (family Apiaceae), native to Eurasia and formerly a weed of arable land. Also (with modifying word): any of several other plants of the genus Bupleurum. Also called hare's-ear.
Mid 16th century; earliest use found in William Turner (d. 1568), naturalist and religious controversialist. In some forms from thorough- + wax.
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