One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A low-growing inconspicuous plant of the pink family, growing in temperate regions of the northern hemisphere.
Genus Scleranthus, family Caryophyllaceae
- ‘Other related species include stitchwort and chickweed, catchflies, knawels, pearlworts and sea-spurreys.’
- ‘Self-pollination allows for distinct races to develop and several sub-species of annual knawel have been recognised, however their status in Ireland has not been investigated.’
- ‘I saw no shepherd's purse after December 27th, but knawel was in flower as late as January 18th.’
- ‘Both knawels are sometimes named pesky weeds, but every plant, which can survive in the poor soil, is important for the Spit.’
Late 16th century: from German Knauel, Knäuel ‘knotgrass’.
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