lady's thumb


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lady's thumb

n.
A weedy perennial plant (Persicaria maculata) having clusters of small pinkish flowers and usually a dark blotch near the center of the leaf.

[Possibly from the belief that the blotch was left by the Virgin Mary when she pinched a leaf and rejected it while looking for water pepper, a similar plant that lacks the blotch and is used as a condiment .]
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References in periodicals archive ?
Nevertheless, some shrubs and trees thrive in the ravines, along with Patagonian honey mesquite, lady's thumb, and an aromatic fruit, the taste of which will, according to legend, ensure a traveler's return.
A large date can be the size of two lady's thumbs. Some vendors will also offer their 'golden dates' yet hand you a box of dark dates.