One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounPlural spurries, Plural spurreys
A small widely distributed plant of the pink family, with pink or white flowers.
Genera Spergula and Spergularia, family Caryophyllaceae: several species, in particular corn spurrey (Spergula arvensis), a spindly weed of cornfields, and sand spurrey (Spergularia rubra), of sandy and gravelly soils
- ‘Corn spurry is most common in coastal areas of the province, but occurs in all agricultural regions in BC.’
- ‘Corn spurrey is eaten avidly by many animals, particularly sheep, and has been included in seed mixtures.’
- ‘But perhaps more alarming is how so many once widespread plants, such as butterfly orchids and corn spurrey, have suffered in the modern landscape.’
- ‘Once pastures and turf are well established, the spurrey usually cannot establish from seed due to competition.’
- ‘Some of these have been introduced to this site but they are all grown from local Ryedale seed, and the pimpernel and corn spurrey at least appeared by themselves.’
Late 16th century: from Dutch spurrie; probably related to medieval Latin spergula.
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