Coccifera, a small bush growing in Spain and many countries around the Mediterranean, furnishes the kermes dye ([[Kermes).
Kermes), the pistachio or terebinth tree, the sumach (Rhus pentaphila), and other species of Rhus which are widely spread.
Until about 1725 the belief was very prevalent that cochineal was the seed of a plant, but Dr Martin Lister in 1672 conjectured it to be a kind of kermes, and in 1703 Antony van Leeuwenhoek ascertained its true nature by aid of the microscope.
Since its introduction cochineal has supplanted kermes (Coccus ilicis) over the greater part of Europe.
The Sanskrit word is krimi, which has given kermes, the cochineal insect, whence "crimson."