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Kaxuth arabice cuschuta.


Kaxuth ABC fp | Kaxuch ms. e | Kauth j
cuschuta ABC j | cuscuta ef | cuscutha p


Kaxuth is Arabic for Latin cuschuta {"dodder"}.

Commentary and botanical identification:

Siggel (1950: 63): ﻛﺷﻮﺕ /kušūt/, ﻛﺷﻮﺙ /kušūṯ/ Cuscuta monogyna (Convolvulac.) u.a.; {"dodder, and other plants of this genus"}.

Simon’s vocalisation is found in Lane (1984: 2613) who has: ﻛﺷﻮﺙ /kašūṯ/, /kušūṯ/; ﻛﺸﻮﺛﻰ /kašūṯā/ and ﻛﺸﻮﺛﺎﺀ /kašūṯāʔu/ … [a species of cuscuta, or dodder] a certain plant that clings to the branches of trees, having no root in the earth.

ﻛﺸﻮﺛﺎ /kašūṯā/ is also the vocalisation Asín Palacios (1943: 299) s.v. “557. ṬINYA, ṬINNA …” chooses.

Cf. also Karbstein (2002: 167-8): 6) Flachsseide {i.e. “flax dodder”} Cuscuta epithymum Murray: ﻛﺸﻮﺗﺎ /kašūṯan/, proving that this vocalisation was still used by the Morisco community in Spain in the early 17th c.

The Latin word cuscuta, which has survived into botanical Latin, appears only as late as in medieval Latin and with a number of variants e.g. cussata, cassutha, gasitha and cassytha - the latter survived into botanical Latin in the form Cassyta.
Some etymologists see the Arabic word as the source of cuscuta, others assume that the Arabic word is ultimately a loan from Greek καδύτας /kadýtas/ "a parasitic plant, dodder, Cassyta filiformis" (LSJ). However Cassyta filiformis L. [[1]] is a species of the parasitic genus Cassyta with pantropical distribution and therefore most unlikely to be the Greek καδύτας /kadýtas/. Dodders are species of the unrelated genus Cuscuta [[2]], which has only four species growing in Europe. Perhaps καδύτας /kadýtas/ is Cuscuta europaea L., "greater dodder" [[3]], Cuscusta epithymum (L.) L. [4]], [[5]], Cuscuta epilimum Weihe "flax dodder" [[6]] or much less likely Cuscuta lupuliformis Krock., "hop dodder" [[7]].

WilfGunther 08/12/2013

See also: Cuscute

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