like dwarf-elder berries, are said to stunt the growth; hence the fairy Milkah fed her royal foster-child on this food, that his standard might not exceed that of a pigmy. This superstition arose from the notion that everything had the property of bestowing its own speciality on others. (See Fern Seed.)
She robbed dwarf-elders of their fragrant fruit, And fed him early with the daisy root, Whence through his veins the powerful juices ran, And formed the beauteous miniature of man.
Tickell: Kensington Gardens.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894