Etymology
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columbine (n.)

popular name of a garden flower, c. 1300, from Old French columbine "columbine," or directly from Medieval Latin columbina, from Late Latin columbina "verbena," fem. of Latin columbinus, literally "dove-like," from columba "dove." The inverted flower supposedly resembles a cluster of five doves. Also a fem. proper name; in Italian comedy, the name of the mistress of Harlequin.

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flowery (adj.)

mid-14c., from flower (n.) + -y (2). Figurative sense "richly embellished," in reference to language, is from c. 1600. Related: Floweriness.

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trillium (n.)

1768, from Modern Latin trillium (Linnaeus, 1753), from Latin tri- "three" (see three). So called for its leaves and flower segments.

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creme de la creme (n.)

"elite, finest flower of society," 1848, from French crème de la crème, literally "the cream of the cream" (see cream (n.)).

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bloom (v.)

mid-13c., blomen, "bear flowers, blossom, be in flower," from an Old Norse noun from the same source as bloom (n.1). Related: Bloomed; blooming.

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jardiniere (n.)

ornamental flower stand, 1841, from French jardinière "flower pot" (also "female gardener, gardener's wife"), noun use of fem. of adjective jardinier "of the garden," from jardin "garden; orchard; palace grounds," from Vulgar Latin *hortus gardinus "enclosed garden," via Frankish *gardo or some other Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *gardaz, from PIE root *gher- (1) "to grasp, enclose."

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stylus (n.)

1728, "stem-like part of a flower pistil," alteration of Latin stilus "stake, stylus;" spelling influenced by Greek stylos "pillar." Meaning "instrument for writing" is from 1807.

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bract (n.)

in botany, "small leaf beneath a flower," Modern Latin, from Latin bractea, literally "thin metal plate," a word of unknown origin. Related: Bracteal; bracteate.

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blooming (adj.)

late 14c., "that is in flower, flourishing," present-participle adjective from bloom (v.). The meaning "full-blown" (often a euphemism for bloody) is attested from 1882.

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flora (n.)

c. 1500, "Roman goddess of flowers;" 1777, "the plant life of a region or epoch," from Latin Flora, "goddess of flowers," from flos (accusative florem, genitive floris) "flower," from *flo-s-, Italic suffixed form of PIE *bhle- "to blossom, flourish" (source also of Middle Irish blath, Welsh blawd "blossom, flower," Old English blowan "to flower, bloom"), extended form of root *bhel- (3) "to thrive, bloom."

Her festival, the Floralia, was April 28 to May 2 and featured "comic theatrical representations" and "excessive drinking" [Century Dictionary]. The French Revolutionary calendar had a month Floréal (April 20-May 20). Used as the title of systematically descriptive plant catalogues since 1640s, but popularized by Linnaeus in his landmark 1745 study of Swedish plants, "Flora Suecica."

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