One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
In the Linnaean artificial system: the twenty-third class of plants, comprising those that bear both hermaphrodite and unisexual (male or female) flowers, on the same or different plants; (also) any of the orders of the class Syngenesia that comprise plants bearing inflorescences composed of many florets (as in plants of the family Asteraceae (Compositae)).
Mid 18th century; earliest use found in Chambers's Cyclopaedia. From scientific Latin Polygamia (Linnaeus Systema Naturae) from post-classical Latin polygamia. Compare French polygamie.
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