from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A spongy excrescence or gall, sometimes termed sweetbrier-sponge, or robin-redbreast's pincushion, found on various species of roses, especially the sweet-brier, produced by several insects, as Rhodites rosæ and R. bicolor, as the result of puncture and the deposit of their eggs, and containing their larvæ: once supposed to have medicinal properties.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • [84: 1] "Est et cynosrodos, rosa camina, ung eglantier, folia myrti habens, sed paulo majora; recta assurgens in mediam altitudinem inter arborem et fruticem; fert spongiolas, quibus utuntur medici, ad malefica capitis ulcera, la malle tigne, vocatur antem vulgo in officinis pharmacopolarum, bedegar."

    The plant-lore & garden-craft of Shakespeare


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.