Tolkien Gateway

Pipe-weed

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Tobacco, or a closely related plant, adopted for smoking by the [[Hobbits]], and hence also called [[Halflings' Leaf]].
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'''Pipe-weed''' (also known as [[Halflings' Leaf]]) is a plant developed by the [[Hobbits]] of [[the Shire]]. The cultivation and exportation of this herb is a  key industry in the Shire, especially in the south. Among the [[Dunedain]] it is known as '''''sweet galenas''''', and in [[Gondor]] it grows as a wild herb, appreciated primarily for its fragrant blossoms.
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Among the [[Gondorians]] it is known popularly as '''''westmansweed''''', a reference to its origin: it was apparently brought to [[Middle-earth]] by [[Numenor|Númenóreans]] during the [[Second Age]]. There it was first domesticated by [[Tobold Hornblower]] of [[Longbottom]] in [[Southfarthing]] around [[Shire Calendar|S.R.]] 1070 ([[Third Age|T.A.]] 2670). Despite its foreign origins, the Hobbits (possibly those in [[Bree]]) were the first to use it for smoking.
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Popular varieties of pipe-weed include Longbottom Leaf, Old Toby, and Southern Star.
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In the prologue to ''[[The Lord of the Rings]]'', Tolkien states specifically that "it is a strain of the herb ''nicotiana''", i.e. tobacco.
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The [[Istar|Wizard]] [[Gandalf]] learned to smoke pipe-weed from the Hobbits and is often seen blowing smoke-rings. [[Saruman]] initially derides him for this, but at some point he takes up smoking himself. After the destruction of [[Isengard]], pipe-weed is found among its stores, but the Hobbits [[Meriadoc Brandybuck|Merry]] and [[Peregrin Took|Pippin]] fail to realize the [[Scouring of the Shire|sinister implications]] of the discovery that Saruman has had commerce with the Shire.
  
 
[[Category:Plants]]
 
[[Category:Plants]]

Revision as of 21:24, 28 August 2006

Pipe-weed (also known as Halflings' Leaf) is a plant developed by the Hobbits of the Shire. The cultivation and exportation of this herb is a key industry in the Shire, especially in the south. Among the Dunedain it is known as sweet galenas, and in Gondor it grows as a wild herb, appreciated primarily for its fragrant blossoms.

Among the Gondorians it is known popularly as westmansweed, a reference to its origin: it was apparently brought to Middle-earth by Númenóreans during the Second Age. There it was first domesticated by Tobold Hornblower of Longbottom in Southfarthing around S.R. 1070 (T.A. 2670). Despite its foreign origins, the Hobbits (possibly those in Bree) were the first to use it for smoking.

Popular varieties of pipe-weed include Longbottom Leaf, Old Toby, and Southern Star.

In the prologue to The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien states specifically that "it is a strain of the herb nicotiana", i.e. tobacco.

The Wizard Gandalf learned to smoke pipe-weed from the Hobbits and is often seen blowing smoke-rings. Saruman initially derides him for this, but at some point he takes up smoking himself. After the destruction of Isengard, pipe-weed is found among its stores, but the Hobbits Merry and Pippin fail to realize the sinister implications of the discovery that Saruman has had commerce with the Shire.