One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1The N. American groundsel tree, Baccharis halimifolia (family Asteraceae (Compositae)), which bears achenes having a long pappus (rare).
2A succulent shrub or small tree of the spurge family, Euphorbia tirucalli, native to southern and tropical Africa and cultivated elsewhere; also called milk-bush.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in William Miller (c1831–1898).
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