Twelve-year-old Bethany Dickey spelled her way through six fierce rounds of words at the CanWest CanSpell national bee in Ottawa this weekend before a scientific plant term tripped her up.
The eliminating word for the Bicentennial Junior High student was digitalis, a subdivision of the figwort family.
It took 21 rounds for Emma Brownlie of Ottawa to beat out the 11 finalists and win the CanSpell Cup with the word hamadryad, which stems from mythology and means the nymph or spirit of a particular tree.
Dickey was crowned Halifax regional champ in March after correctly spelling beguile, and came out on top of 32 finalists, between the ages of nine and 14.
The Grade 8 student will have another chance at spelling bee glory when she joins the rest of the national CanSpell contenders at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., on May 29 and 30.