ne·​moph·​i·​la ni-ˈmä-fə-lə How to pronounce nemophila (audio)
: any of a genus (Nemophila) of annual herbs of the waterleaf family chiefly of western North America that are cultivated for their showy blue or white sometimes spotted flowers

Examples of nemophila in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web According to the park's website, approximately 5.3 million nemophila have blossomed in the Miharashi Hill area of the park this year. Kelly Corbett, House Beautiful, 1 May 2020 But there’s more to Hitachi Seaside Park than the nemophila. Andrea Romano, Travel + Leisure, 1 May 2020 Flowers to start: In addition to above there are the harder, smaller seeds that need individual cups ie nemophila, silane, mignonette, Arctic poppy, California poppy, morning glory, Shirley poppies. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, 27 Apr. 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'nemophila.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from New Latin, genus name, from Greek némos "grove, thicket, pasture" (going back to Indo-European *nemos-/*nemes- "sacred grove," whence also Latin nemus "wood, forest, sacred grove," Old Irish nemed "sacred place, sanctuary") + -phila, feminine of -philos -philous

Note: The genus name was introduced by the English botanist Thomas Nuttall (1786-1859) in "Descriptions of rare plants recently introduced into the gardens of Philadelphia," "Read March 5, 1822," Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, vol. 2, part 1, 1821 [1822], pp. 179-81. Nuttall etymologizes the name in a footnote: "From νεμος, a grove, and φιλέω, I love, a plant peculiar to shady woods." — For further hypothesizing on the etymon of Greek némos, etc., see the note at nimble.

First Known Use

1838, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of nemophila was in 1838

Dictionary Entries Near nemophila

Cite this Entry

“Nemophila.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

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