One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Regional. Either of two fragrant shrubs of the family Myricaceae, the bog myrtle, Myrica gale, of Eurasia and North America, and the closely allied sweet fern, Comptonia peregrina, of eastern North America.
2The marsh fern, Thelypteris palustris, especially the North American variety T. palustris var. pubescens.
Late 19th century. From meadow + fern.
meadow fern/ˈmɛdəʊ fəːn/
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