Costmary is another name for Balsamint. It is from costus, an aromatic plant used for making perfumes in the east. There is too a reference to French coste amere, Latin costus amarus. So the "mary" part of the name seems to be a simple mistake. Nevertheless it did not stop the plant being dedicated to the Virgin Mary in most west European countries, and receiving names like Herbe Sainte Marie in France (Rohde), and Herb Mary or St Mary etc., in this country (Mabey. 1977, Dawson).

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