One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Either of two tropical shrubs of the genus Calotropis (family Asclepiadaceae), C. gigantea, of eastern Asia, and C. procera, of Asia and Africa, which have bark yielding a fibre and seed-floss which can be used like kapok. Also: a medicinal preparation of the root of either of these shrubs.
Early 19th century. From Hindi madār from Sanskrit mandāra-.
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