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Headword: Χαμαίλεον
Adler number: chi,70
Translated headword: chamaileon
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
A type of plant.[1] Also [sc. attested is] χαμαίμηλον ["ground apple"], a type of plant.[2]
Greek Original:
Χαμαίλεον: εἶδος βοτάνης. καὶ Χαμαίμηλον, εἶδος βοτάνης.
Notes:
[1] LSJ has no entry for χαμαίλεον , but the plants appear under the entry for χαμαιλέων . The variant spelling here in the Suda may have been adopted to distinguish the plant from the animal of the same name (chi 69). The name was applied by the Greeks to plants whose leaves changed color, specifically the pine thistle or Atractylis gummifera (also χαμαιλέων λευκός ) and Cardopatium corymbosum (also χαμαιλέων μέλας ).
[2] Nowadays this is better-known by the transliteration of its Greek name: "chamomile" or "camomile", although it is probably to be identified with Roman or garden chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) used today in hair dyes rather than with German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) which is used in tea. The ancients probably used it as a cure for jaundice; see Pliny, Natural History 22.53. The name χαμαίμηλον from "earth" (χαμαί ) and "apple" (μῆλον ) -- compare the French pomme de terre, potato -- was probably applied because the plant gives off a faintly apple-like scent.
Keywords: botany; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; medicine; zoology
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 12 March 2008@14:07:01.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (tweaks and cosmetics) on 13 March 2008@05:29:47.
Catharine Roth (typo) on 15 June 2008@21:00:55.
David Whitehead on 7 November 2013@07:42:15.
David Whitehead (my typo) on 2 February 2014@06:08:45.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 3 February 2014@01:09:28.

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