One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A plant louse that is a pest of vines.
Phylloxera vitifoliae, family Phylloxeridae, suborder Homoptera
- ‘They had replanted their land with vines after the phylloxera disaster, until a glut of cheap wine flooded the market, and they could no longer sell their only product.’
- ‘More important was the wine boom in Spain and Italy in the 1880s which took advantage of the phylloxera epidemic in France.’
- ‘While growing succeeded there for decades, a plague of the plant louse phylloxera, followed by Prohibition and then the Depression, set the region back for years.’
- ‘Recession in the 1880s was compounded by phylloxera, which swept aside not only vines but many poorer farmers.’
- ‘In addition, Chile is excitingly free from phylloxera, the bane of the wine universe, allowing it to produce versatile, forthright wines that are a pure and direct expression of single grape varieties.’
Mid 19th century: modern Latin, from Greek phullon ‘leaf’ + xēros ‘dry’.
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