One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An aromatic white-flowered plant of the parsley family, with fernlike leaves.
Genera Myrrhis and Osmorhiza, family Umbelliferae: several species, in particular the European M. odorata, grown as a pot herb and used in herbal medicine, and the North American O. claytoni
- ‘The sweet cicely, which I have always had in the bed in front of the dining room, is in flower again.’
- ‘One of the first herbs to appear in the spring, sweet cicely makes a becoming backdrop to a perennial border.’
- ‘Gardening programmes make much of cow-parsley, yet sweet cicely is not only a prettier plant but also has a longer growing season and is edible!’
- ‘The root of sweet cicely can be boiled and eaten.’
- ‘Sweet cicely likes half shade and a moist, rich soil.’
- ‘Spoon into a pretty bowl and decorate with small springs and flowers of sweet cicely.’
Late 16th century: from Latin seselis, from Greek. The spelling change was due to association with the given name Cicely.
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