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What plant word links the new poet laureate, the dollar bill, and a nymph?
The nation has new a poet laureate, W.S. Merwin, who has written more than 30 books of poetry, translation, and prose over the past 60 years. Despite what Merwin’s title says, don’t expect him to parade around the Library of Congress with a leaf wreath on his head. The word “laureate” is derived from Latin, meaning “crowned with laurel.”Also known as the sweet bay, or just …
any of several plants belonging to the genus Aspidistra, of the lily family, native to eastern Asia, especially A. eliator, having large evergreen leaves often striped with white, and grown as a houseplant.
Origin of aspidistra
1815–25; < New Latin, equivalent to aspid- (< Greek: stem of aspís shield) + -istra, extracted from Tupistra genus of liliaceous plants < Greek typís mallet + Latin -tra plural of -trum noun suffix denoting instrument
Also called barroom plant, cast-iron plant, iron plant.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
any Asian plant of the liliaceous genus Aspidistra, esp A. lurida, a popular house plant with long tough evergreen leaves and purplish flowers borne on the ground
Word Origin for aspidistra
C19: from New Latin, from Greek aspis shield, on the model of Tupistra genus of liliaceous plants
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012