One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Any of various kinds of lily (genus Lilium) with red flowers; especially the scarlet Turk's-cap lily, Lilium chalcedonicum, and (North American) the wood lily, Lilium philadelphicum.
2A South American hippeastrum, Hippeastrum puniceum.
Mid 16th century; earliest use found in John Bellenden (c1495–a1548), poet and translator.
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