nasturtium (n.)

name given to various plants of the mustard family, including watercress, late Old English nasturtium, nasturcium, from Latin nasturtium "cress;" the popular etymology explanation of the name (Pliny) is that it is from Latin *nasitortium, literally "nose-twist," from nasus "nose" (from PIE root *nas- "nose") + past participle of torquere "to twist" (from PIE root *terkw- "to twist"); the plant so called for its somewhat acrid odor. Modern application to a South American trailing plant with orange flowers is recorded from 1704.

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