One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The type genus of the family Polemoniaceae, comprising annual and perennial herbaceous plants native to America, Asia, and Europe, many of which are cultivated for their single and clustered bell-shaped flowers; (also polemonium) a plant of this genus (compare "Jacob's ladder".
Early 17th century; earliest use found in Philemon Holland (1552–1637), translator. From post-classical Latin Polemonium from Hellenistic Greek πολεμώνιον, an unidentified plant from Πολέμων, proper name + -ιον, suffix forming nouns, or, according to Pliny, directly from πόλεμος war. Compare.
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