BIRD'S-EYE, a name applied to various small bright flowers, especially those which have a small spot or "eye" in the centre. The primula is thus spoken of, on account of its yellow centre, also the adonis, or "pheasant's eye," and the blue veronica, or germander speedwell. The word is also applied to a sort of tobacco, in which the stalks (of a mottled colour) are cut up together with the leaves. From a similar sense comes the phrase "bird's-eye maple," a speckled variety of maple-wood, or the "bird's-eye handkerchief" mentioned in Thackeray's novels.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)