One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A holly of the southern US. Sometimes dried and brewed as a tea, its bitter leaves contain caffeine and have emetic properties.
Ilex vomitoria, family Aquifoliaceae
- ‘Shrubs: chittamwood (a bumelia also called gum-elastic), yaupon, spatulate-leaved hawthorn.’
- ‘Southerners could, for example, plant a mass of vigorous full-sized yaupon hollies next to the back door, and a cluster of dwarf yaupons (Ilex vomitoria ‘Nana’) at the yard's far edge.’
- ‘But even ‘evergreen’ yaupons drop old leaves to make way for new.’
- ‘Small trees resistant to cotton root rot include Jerusalem thorn, yaupon and wild olive.’
- ‘Native plants, like wax myrtle varieties of yaupon hollies to name a few, are popular plants for southern gardens.’
Early 18th century: a North American Indian word.
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