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.
1768, from Modern Latin trillium (Linnaeus, 1753), from Latin tri- "three" (see three). So called for its leaves and flower segments.
"elite, finest flower of society," 1848, from French crème de la crème, literally "the cream of the cream" (see cream (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."
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.
in botany, "small leaf beneath a flower," Modern Latin, from Latin bractea, literally "thin metal plate," a word of unknown origin. Related: Bracteal; bracteate.
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."