One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A North American plant that yields a pigment from which dye or medicinal products are obtained, especially formerly.
Genus Lithospermum, family Boraginaceae: several species, including hoary puccoon (L. canescens)
- ‘Walk through the prairie's first showing of pussytoes, puccoon, and bird's foot violets, walk through the tick-ridden grasses, walk through the wild phlox and unfurling ferns of maidenhair.’
- ‘My first visit was in early May, when the ground was covered with delicately beautiful sand love grass, punctuated by bright yellow clusters of hoary puccoon and golden Alexander.’
- ‘Plants here include prairie rose, nodding onion, gray-headed coneflower, butterfly weed, green milkweed, hoary puccoon, and even eastern prickly pear cactus.’
Early 17th century: from Algonquian poughkone.
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