One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A purple-flowered evergreen rhododendron, Rhododendron ponticum, originally of Spain, Portugal, and Asia Minor, but extensively cultivated in Britain during Victorian times, now widely naturalized and often regarded as an invasive weed.
Late 19th century. From scientific Latin ponticum, specific epithet of Rhododendron ponticum (Linnaeus Species Plantarum (ed. 2, 1762) II. 562) from classical Latin Ponticus.
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