One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Any of several small evergreen woodland plants of the genus Pyrola (family Ericaceae), of north temperate regions, having rounded leaves and spikes of drooping, bell-shaped white or greenish flowers; also called wintergreen. Also (in form Pyrola): the genus itself.
Early 16th century; earliest use found in Laurence Andrewe (fl. c1520–1530), printer and translator. From post-classical Latin pyrola from pyrus pear tree + classical Latin -ola, so called from the resemblance of the leaves to those of the pear tree.
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