One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1North American A rhododendron.
Genus Rhododendron, family Ericaceae: several species, including the great rhododendron (R. maximum) of eastern North America
2British The pink-flowered willow herb Epilobium angustifolium, a common fireweed.
- ‘In the days of steam, railways sparks set fire to the embankments and rosebay provided colour which passengers enjoyed.’
- ‘London's emblem was aptly the rosebay willow herb - the flower of bomb sites - and Kent's long beer-making heritage was acknowledged by the choice of the hop.’
- ‘I was out with this dangerous looking implement this afternoon, cutting down nettles, rosebay and docks nearly as tall as I am.’
- ‘After a mile the canopy broke, the sun came in, rosebay willow herb was out in pink and a Painted Lady showed up.’
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