One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A clayey soil with little organic matter which occurs in regions having distinct wet and dry seasons.
- ‘The soil at the experimental site was a Lawes brown black clay loam, which is a moderately fertile deep alluvial, weakly cracking vertisol that was well drained.’
- ‘The soil around here is of a type called grey cracking clay vertisols, it's also called self-mulching black soil.’
1960s: from vertical + Latin solum ‘soil’.
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