One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Any of several grasses, especially of the genus Aristida (family Poaceae), having sharp, stiff awns which cling to wool or fabric and may penetrate the skin.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in Economist Monthly Trade Supplement. From Afrikaans steekgras from South African Dutch steekgras from steek-, combining form of steken to stick, prick, to get stuck + gras.
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