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From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary
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(Science: botany) Any grass of the genus lolium, especially. The lolium temulentum (bearded darnel), the grains of which have been reputed poisonous. Other species, as lolium perenne (rye grass or ray grass), and its variety L. Italicum (Italian rye grass), are highly esteemed for pasture and for making hay.

under darnel our early herbalists comprehended all kinds of cornfield weeds.

Origin: oe. Darnel, dernel, of uncertain origin; cf. Dial. F. Darnelle, Sw. Dar-repe; perh. Named from a supposed intoxicating quality of the plant, and akin to Sw. Dara to infatuate, od. Door foolish, g. Thor fool, and Ee. Dizzy.