Etymology
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azalea (n.)

type of flowering shrub, 1753, Modern Latin, coined by Linnaeus from the fem. of Greek azaleos "dry," related to azein "to dry up," probably from PIE root *as- "to burn, glow." The plant thrives in sandy soil.

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*as- 

also *es-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to burn, glow." 

It forms all or part of: ardent; ardor; area; arid; aridity; aril; arson; ash (n.1) "powdery remains of fire;" azalea; potash; potassium.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit asah "ashes, dust;" Hittite hat- "to dry up;" Greek azein "to dry up, parch," azaleos "dry;" Latin aridus "parched, dry," ārēre "to be dry," āra "altar, hearth;" Armenian azazem "I dry up;" Old English æsce "ash," Old High German asca, Gothic azgo "ashes." 

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