One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Either of two North American ipomoeas with large tuberous roots, Ipomoea leptophylla, of the dry plains east of the Rocky Mountains, and the wild potato vine, I. pandurata.
2Any of several western North American gourds of the genus Marah (family Cucurbitaceae).
3The medicinal root of a ginseng (genus Panax), especially one from Asia.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in William Hemsley Emory (1811–1887).
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