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sweet woodruff

noun
1.
See under woodruff.
Origin
1790-1800
1790-1800

woodruff

[woo d-ruh f, -ruhf] /ˈwʊd rəf, -ˌrʌf/
noun
1.
any of several plants belonging to the genus Asperula or Galium, of the madder family, as G. odoratum (sweet woodruff) a fragrant plant with small white flowers.
Origin
before 1000; Middle English woderove, Old English wudurofe, wudurife, equivalent to wudu wood1 + -rofe, -rife, element of uncertain meaning; compare German Rübe carrot
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for sweet woodruff

sweet woodruff

noun
1.
a Eurasian and North African rubiaceous plant, Galium odoratum (or Asperula odorata), having whorls of leaves and clusters of fragrant white flowers

woodruff

/ˈwʊdrʌf/
noun
1.
any of several rubiaceous plants of the genus Galium, esp G. odoratum (sweet woodruff), of Eurasia, which has small sweet-scented white flowers and whorls of narrow fragrant leaves used to flavour wine and liqueurs and in perfumery
Word Origin
Old English wudurofe, from wood1 + rōfe, related to Old High German ruoba, Middle Low German rōve (beet)root, Latin rēpere to creep
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
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Encyclopedia Article for sweet woodruff

woodruff

any of various species of plants of a genus (Asperula) belonging to the madder family, Rubiaceae. The woodruff is found growing wild in woods and shady places in many countries of Europe, and its leaves are used as herbs. The genus Asperula includes annuals and perennials, usually with square stems. Their small, funnel-shaped flowers are clustered, and a few species are cultivated for ornamental uses. Sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum) is in a separate genus; it was formerly classified as A. odorata.

Learn more about woodruff with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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