fumitory

fumitory

[fyoo-mi-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee]
noun, plural fumitories.
any plant of the genus Fumaria, especially a delicate herb, F. officinalis, having finely dissected, grayish leaves and spikes of purplish flowers.

Origin:
1350–1400; alteration of earlier fumiterre, Middle English fumetere < Middle French < Medieval Latin fūmus terrae literally, smoke of the earth; literal sense uncertain

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fumitory (ˈfjuːmɪtərɪ, -trɪ)
 
n , pl -ries
any plant of the chiefly European genus Fumaria, esp F. officinalis, having spurred flowers and formerly used medicinally: family Fumariaceae
 
[C14: from Old French fumetere, from Medieval Latin fūmus terrae, literally: smoke of the earth; see fume]

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Encyclopedia Britannica
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fumitory

any of several plant species of the genus Fumaria of the poppy family (Papaveraceae) but, most commonly, F. officinalis, a 90-centimetre- (3-foot-) tall, climbing annual plant with lacy leaves and spikelike sprays of white or pinkish tubular flowers. F. officinalis, native to Europe and Asia, now grows wild in parts of North America, having escaped from gardens. Once regarded as a medicinal herb, it was also used in Great Britain, boiled in water or milk, as a cosmetic.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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