A plant of or formerly included in the genus Galax (now of the family Diapensiaceae); specifically G. urceolata (formerly G. aphylla), now the only member of the genus, a low-growing, evergreen herbaceous plant native to the south-eastern United States, having shiny, heart-shaped leaves much used in floristry, and racemes of small white flowers. Also (in form Galax): the genus itself.
Valid publication of the genus name: J. Sims 1804, in Curtis's Bot. Mag. 20 754.
Late 18th century; earliest use found in Colin Milne (c1743–1815), Church of England clergyman and botanist. From scientific Latin Galax, genus name (LinnaeusSpecies plantarum I. 200) from Hellenistic Greek γαλαξίας.