Word Archaeology: espalier

This word, first used in the mid-17th Century, refers to the horticultural technique that involves pruning a plant and tying its branches to a frame. Often, these plants are flat against walls, providing a method for gardening in limited space or to maximize sunlight. It has origins in Late Latin – “spatula” (shoulder blade), which evolved through Italian “spalla” (shoulder) before the French adopted “espalier”.

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Wes Platt

Lead storyteller. Game designer and journalist. Recovering Floridian.

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