5L marcescens, prp. of marcescere, to wither, decay < marcere, to wither < IE *merk3, to grow soft, rot < base *mer3, to rub > MARE36 Bot. withering but not falling off

Reminds me of famous dermatology case. Rich bitch had mysterious dermatitis that affected only her
right hand. When all else failed, she hired a woman to watch her every minute to try to find out what
it was that she did only with her right hand to get such a limited contact dermatitis. A year went by,
before she was getting some of her flowers ready for the big Flower Show in Boston. She had some
special flowers with marcescent leaves. To remove them, she had to tuck right hand under
left axilla, clamp left arm against the glove, so that with her bare right hand she could pluck off the
unsightly marcescent leaves. Voilá! Mystery solved. If I remember rightly the flowers were
rare variety of marigolds.