Etymology
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anthesis (n.)

"full bloom, period or act of blooming, time that the flower is expanded," 1811, from Greek anthesis, noun of action from antheein "to blossom," from anthos "flower" (see anther).

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flour (n.)

"finer portion of ground grain," mid-13c., from flower (n.), and maintaining its older spelling, on the notion of flour as the "finest part" of meal, perhaps as the flower is the finest part of the plant or the fairest plant of the field (compare French fleur de farine), as distinguished from the coarser parts (meal (n.2)). Old French flor also meant both "a flower, blossom" and "meal, fine flour." The English word also was spelled flower until flour became the accepted form c. 1830 to end confusion. Flour-knave "miller's helper" is from c. 1300.

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chrysanthemum (n.)

composite plant native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa, the national flower of Japan, 1550s, from Latin chrysanthemum, from Greek khrysanthemon "marigold," literally "golden flower," from khrysos "gold" (see chryso-) + anthemon "a flower," from PIE *andh- "bloom" (see anther). "The generic name is now rarely appropriate, as only a small number have yellow flowers" [Century Dictionary].

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peduncle (n.)

"flower-stalk supporting a cluster or a solitary flower," 1753, from Modern Latin pedunculus "footstalk" (equivalent to Latin pediculus), diminutive of pes (genitive pedis) "foot," from PIE root *ped- "foot." Related: Peduncular, pedunculate, pedunculated (1752).

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flourish (v.)

c. 1300, "to blossom, grow" (intransitive), from Old French floriss-, stem of florir "to blossom, flower, bloom; prosper, flourish," from Latin florere "to bloom, blossom, flower," figuratively "to flourish, be prosperous," from flos "a flower" (from PIE root *bhel- (3) "to thrive, bloom"). Metaphoric sense of "thrive" is mid-14c. in English. Transitive meaning "brandish (a weapon), hold in the hand and wave about" is from late 14c. Related: Flourished; flourishing.

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gillyflower (n.)

type of flowering plant, 1550s, folk etymology alteration (by association with unrelated flower) of gilofre "gillyflower" (late 14c.), originally "clove" (c. 1300), from Old French girofle "clove" (12c.), from Latin caryophyllon, from Greek karyophyllon "clove, nut leaf, dried flower bud of clove tree," from karyon "nut" (see karyo-) + phyllon "leaf" (from suffixed form of PIE root *bhel- (3) "to thrive, bloom"). The flower so named for its scent.

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mayflower (n.)

"a flower that appears in May," c. 1600s; from May + flower (n.). Used of the hawthorn and locally for the lady's smock, the marsh marigold, and other plants that bloom in May. A popular ship name in early 17c.

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baluster (n.)

also balluster, "support for a railing" (commonly one that swells outward at some point), c. 1600, from French balustre (16c.), from Italian balaustro "small pillar," said to be from balausta "flower of the wild pomegranate," from Greek balaustion (which is perhaps of Semitic origin; compare Aramaic balatz "flower of the wild pomegranate"). The uprights had lyre-like double curves, which resembled the half-opened pomegranate flower.

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efflorescent (adj.)

"blooming, being in flower; apt to effloresce," 1741, from Latin efflorescentem (nominative efflorescens), present participle of efflorescere "to bloom, flourish," from assimilated form of ex "out" (see ex-) + florescere "to blossom," from flos "flower" (from PIE root *bhel- (3) "to thrive, bloom").

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anthomania (n.)

"extravagant passion for flowers," 1775, from Greek anthos "flower" (see anther) + mania. Related: Anthomaniac.

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