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  1. #1
    keannu's Avatar
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    Default wintergreen leaves

    The definitions for "wintergreen" in the dictionary are all about specific plants, but the translation goes "showing green color during winter", so did the writer mean such a simple meaning?

    is-15
    ex)The growing season in the Arctic region is short as well as cool, and the plants must make the most of what warmth there is. One adaptation by many Arctic plants to the short growing season is wintergreen leaves...

    noun 1. Also called checkerberry. a small, creeping, evergreen shrub, Gaultheria procumbens, of the heath family, common in eastern North America, having white, nodding, bell-shaped flowers, a bright-red, berrylike fruit, and aromatic leaves that yield a volatile oil.

    2. the oil of this shrub; wintergreen oil; methyl salicylate.

    3. the flavor of oil of wintergreen or something flavored with it.

    4. any of various other plants of the same genus.

    5. any of various small evergreen herbs of the genera Pyrola and Chimaphila.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: wintergreen leaves

    I believe that "wintergreen" itself is a specific kind of plant (which has herbal pain-killing properties) but the word can also be used to unspecifically describe a plant which has green leaves in winter.

    - I use wintergreen leaves steeped in hot water when I have a headache.
    - I don't know what that plant at the end of my garden is but it's a wintergreen. It looked beautiful in December.
    - I don't want my garden to look drab for six months of the year so I have planted plants which have wintergreen leaves.

    This is a strange coincidence because I don't think I had thought of this word/plant for years until yesterday when I had a long conversation about it with a customer in the shop I work in and a friend who is keen on gardening. It's odd that your question should come up now.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: wintergreen leaves

    Maybe you were meant to answer my question. It was not a coincidence but a destiny. I really thank some supernatural influence or God for this happening. Thanks a lot!!!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: wintergreen leaves

    For me wintergreen is particular plant, and a tree whose leaves stay green all year round is evergreen. BNC contains only 3 instances of 'wintergreen', all referring to the particular plant. (In fact I had never seen or heard 'wintergreen' in the sense 'evergreen' until I saw the OP; I have, occasionally seen 'winter green' in sentences like 'I love winter, with its winter greens' - and these 'winter greens' are shown by evergreens.

    In contrast, 'evergreen' - in BNC - has 182. These are distributed between two usages - a noun and an adjective: Evergreen trees are both evergreen (adj) and evergreens (n).

    b

  5. #5
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    Default Re: wintergreen leaves

    If I understood my friend correctly, the plants aren't evergreen. ​They are only green in winter.

  6. #6
    BobSmith is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: wintergreen leaves

    [AmE - not a teacher]

    I, like BobK, would also only use "evergreen" in the sense of the OP. I actually didn't know of wintergreen as a plant (or herbal pain-killer), only a flavor of gum

  7. #7
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    Default Re: wintergreen leaves

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    If I understood my friend correctly, the plants aren't evergreen. ​They are only green in winter.
    Perverse! I can't conceive of a tree that has no leaves in the growing season and then becomes green to celebrate the absence of light!

    b

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