One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Any of various whitish-flowered plants of the genus Prenanthes, allied to the lettuces (genus Lactuca), especially the rattlesnake-root, P. alba).
2A pale-leaved cultivar of the genus Lactuca.
Mid 18th century; earliest use found in Richard Mead (1673–1754), physician and collector of books and art.
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