n. pl. cost·mar·ies
A Eurasian perennial herb (Tanacetum balsamita syn. Chrysanthemum balsamita) in the composite family, having aromatic foliage sometimes used for potpourri, tea, or flavoring.
[Middle English costmarie : cost, costmary (from Old English, from Medieval Latin costus, from Latin costum, the Himalayan plant Saussurea costus having fragrant roots used in incense and perfumery, from Greek kostos, from Sanskrit kuṣṭhaḥ, probably of non-Indo-European origin) + Marie, Mary (perhaps after Mary, the mother of Jesus (in reference to the many traditional household and medicinal uses of costmary's aromatic leaves), or Mary Magdalene, traditionally depicted as anointing the feet of Jesus with fragrant unguent (in reference to the specific use of costmary to scent water for bathing the feet)).]
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