Virescent first appeared in English in 1826. It derives from the present participle of "virescere," a Latin verb meaning "to become green" and a form of another verb, virēre, meaning "to be green." "Virēre" also gave us another adjective meaning green, "verdant," only the route to that adjective takes a stop at the Old French verdoier ("to be green"). "Virescent" has seen occasional general use, as when Thomas Hardy wrote, in his 1881 novel A Laodicean, of "[t]he summer . . . tipping every twig with a virescent yellow." But it is nowadays found most frequently in scientific contexts, especially those pertaining to botany.