One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1(of a stalkless leaf or bract) extended at the base to encircle the node, so that the stem apparently passes through it.
- ‘Of the five sections in Wolff's classification, only two are likely to be monophyletic: section Bupleurum (the species with perfoliate leaves: clade I; Figs 1-3) and section Reticulata (B. angulosum and B. stellatum).’
- 1.1 (of a plant) having perfoliate leaves.
- ‘The actual story is this: Kew Gardens has been infiltrated by ‘yellowflowered perfoliate Alexanders’, which may sound rather nice, but which actually grow up to 1.5 metres tall and starve bluebells of light.’
- ‘Common species include Virginia mountain mint, perfoliate boneset, and New England aster.’
Late 17th century: from modern Latin perfoliatus, from Latin per- ‘through’ + foliatus ‘leaved’.
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