One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Either of two plants of central and western Europe, Petrorhagia nanteuilii and P. prolifera (family Caryophyllaceae), having an epicalyx of brown bracts enclosing a head of pink flowers that open successively; also called childing pink.
Mid 18th century; earliest use found in John Hill (bap. 1714, d. 1775), physician and actor.
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