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Eglantine

Definition

EGLANTINE (E. Frisian, egeltiere; Fr. aiglantier), a plant-name of which Dr R. C. A. Prior (Popular Names of British Plants, p. 70) says that it “has been the subject of much discussion, both as to its exact meaning and as to the shrub to which it properly belongs.” The eglantine of the herbalists was the sweet-brier, Rosa rubiginosa. The signification of the word seems to be thorn-tree or thorn-bush, the first two syllables probably representing the Anglo-Saxon eglaegle, a prick or thorn, while the termination is the Dutch teretaere, a tree. Eglantine is frequently alluded to in the writings of English poets, from Chaucer downwards. Milton, in L‘Allegro, is thought by the term “twisted eglantine” to denote the honeysuckle,Lonicera Periclymenum, which is still known as eglantine in north-east Yorkshire.


[n] Eurasian rose with prickly stems and fragrant leaves and bright pink flowers followed by scarlet hips

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