Flora of Middle-Earth

From Tolkien Gateway
Flora of Middle-Earth
Flora of Middle-Earth.jpg
AuthorWalter Judd
IllustratorGraham A. Judd
PublisherOxford University Press
Released15 August 2017

Flora of Middle-Earth: Plants of J.R.R. Tolkien's Legendarium is a book by the father-son team of Walter Judd and Graham A. Judd on the plants mentioned or described in J.R.R. Tolkien's books on Middle-earth.

From the publisher[edit]

Few settings in literature are as widely known or celebrated as J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-Earth. The natural landscape plays a major role in nearly all of Tolkien's major works, and readers have come to view the geography of this fictional universe as integral to understanding and enjoying Tolkien's works. And in laying out this continent, Tolkien paid special attention to its plant life; in total, over 160 plants are explicitly mentioned and described as a part of Middle-Earth. Nearly all of these plants are real species, and many of the fictional plants are based on scientifically grounded botanic principles.

In "Flora of Middle Earth: Plants of Tolkien's Legendarium", botanist Walter Judd gives a detailed species account of every plant found in Tolkien's universe, complete with the etymology of the plant's name, a discussion of its significance within Tolkien's work, a description of the plant's distribution and ecology, and an original hand-drawn illustration by artist Graham Judd in the style of a woodcut print. Among the over three-thousand vascular plants Tolkien would have seen in the British Isles, the authors show why Tolkien may have selected certain plants for inclusion in his universe over others, in terms of their botanic properties and traditional uses. The clear, comprehensive alphabetical listing of each species, along with the visual identification key of the plant drawings, adds to the reader's understanding and appreciation of the Tolkien canon.


  1. Introduction: The Importance of Plants in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Legendarium
  2. Plant Communities of Middle-earth
    • Arctic Tundra and Polar Desert
    • Boreal Coniferous Forest (Taiga) and Montane Coniferous Forests
    • Grasslands, Prairies, and Steppes
    • Deserts
    • Cool- to Warm-Temperate, Deciduous Forests
    • Comparison of the Trees of Middle-earth with Those of England
    • Plant Communities, as Altered by Hobbits, Humans, Elves, or Angelic Beings (Maiar or Valar)
  3. The Diversity of Life, with a Focus on the Green Plants
  4. Introduction to Plant Morphology: Learning the Language of Plant Descriptions
    • Duration and Habit
    • Roots
    • Stems
    • Leaves
    • Inflorescences
    • Flowers
    • Fruits and Seeds
    • Pollen and Seed Cones
  5. Identification of the Plants of Middle-earth
    • Key 1: Key to Plants of Middle-earth
    • Key 2: Flowering Herbs of Middle-earth
  6. Telperion and Laurelin: The Two Trees of Valinor
    • Etymology
    • Description of Telperion
    • Description of Laurelin
  7. The Plants of Middle-earth
    • List of Plants of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Legendarium
    • Aeglos, and Gorse or Whin (Ulex europaeus)
    • Alders (Alnus spp.)
    • Alfirin and Mallos (Fritillaria spp., yellow-flowered)
    • Anemones (Anemone spp.)
    • Apples (Malus domestica, M. sylvestris, and related species)
    • Ashes (Fraxinus spp.)
    • Barley (Hordeum vulgare)
    • Bay (Laurus nobilis)
    • Beard Lichens (Usnea spp.)
    • Beeches (Fagus spp.)
    • Billberry or Whortleberry (Vaccinium myrtillus, V. uliginosum, and related species)
    • Birches (Betula spp.)
    • Blackberries, Raspberries, Brambles (Rubus spp.)
    • Bracken (Pteridium aquilinum)
    • Buttercups (Ranunculus spp.)
    • Campion (Silene spp.)
    • Cedar (Cedrus libani)
    • Clovers (Trifolium spp.)
    • Coffee (Coffea arabica and C. canephora)
    • Cress, Watercress (Nasturtium officinale, and related species)
    • Cyanobacteria, Blue-Green Bacteria (various genera of Cyanobacteria, a subgroup of the Bacteria.)
    • Daffodils (Narcissus spp.)
    • Daisy (Bellis perennis)
    • Dandelions (Taraxacum officinale, T. erythrospermum, and relatives)
    • Ebony (Diospyros spp.)
    • Elanor (a species of Anagallis, unique to J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendarium)
    • Elms (Ulmus spp.)
    • Evermind, Simbelmynë, Ulios (a species of Anemone, unique to J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendarium)
    • Ferns (Adiantum, Asplenium, Athryium, Blechnum, Dryopteris, Polypodium, Polystichum, Thelypteris, Woodsia, and others)
    • Fireweed (Chamerion angustifolium)
    • Firs (Abies spp.)
    • Flag-Lilies or Yellow Iris (Iris pseudacorus)
    • Flax (Linum usitatissimum)
    • Forget-Me-Nots (Myosotis spp.)
    • Fragrant Trees from Eressëa (various species)
    • Grape Vines, Wine (Vitis vinifera, and relatives)
    • Grass (various genera dominating temperate prairies or steppes; e.g., Agropyron, Andropogon, Bouteloua, Bromus, Festuca, Koeleria, Panicum, Poa, Schizachyrium, Sorghastrum, Stipa)
    • Hart’s-Tongue (Asplenium scolopendrium)
    • Hawthorns, Thorns (Crataegus spp.)
    • Hazels and Filberts (Corylus avellana, C. maxima, and related species)
    • Heath (Erica spp.)
    • Heather, Ling (Calluna vulgaris)
    • Hemlock, Hemlock-Umbels (Conium maculatum, poison hemlock, or perhaps Anthricus sylvestris, cow parsley)
    • Hemp, Gallow-Grass (Cannabis sativa)
    • Holly (Ilex aquifolium, and related species)
    • Horse-Chestnuts, Chestnuts (Aesculus spp.)
    • Ivy (Hedera helix, and relatives)
    • Kingsfoil, Athelias (based, at least in part, on comfrey, Symphytum spp.)
    • Laburnums, Field of Cormallen, Culumalda (Laburnum anagyroides, L. alpinum)
    • Larches (Larix spp.)
    • Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia and relatives)
    • Lilies (Lilium spp.)
    • Lindens (Tilia spp.)
    • Lissuin (An unknown species, never established in Middle-earth)
    • Mallorn-Trees (species unique to J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendarium, based in part upon Fagus, Prunus)
    • Moss (various genera)
    • Mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus, and related species)
    • Nasturtians, Nasturtiums, Indian Cresses (Tropaeolum majus, and related species)
    • Nettles (Urtica dioica, and related species)
    • Niphredil (a species unique to J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendarium, but based upon Galanthus nivalis)
    • Oaks (Quercus spp.)
    • Olive (Olea europaea)
    • Pines (Pinus spp.)
    • Pipe-Weed, Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum)
    • Pole Beans, Beans (Phaseolus spp.)
    • Poplars (Populus spp.)
    • Potatoes, Taters (Solanum tuberosum)
    • Reeds (Phragmites australis)
    • Rockroses (Helianthemum nummularium, and relatives)
    • Roots (probably Dioscorea spp.)
    • Roses, Wild Roses, Eglantine (Rosa spp., but especially R. rubiginosa and R. arvensis)
    • Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia, and related species)
    • Rushes (Juncus spp.)
    • Sages (Salvia spp.)
    • Salt Marsh Grasses, Cordgrasses (Spartina spp.)
    • Saxifrages (Saxifraga spp.)
    • Seafire (various bioluminescent dinoflagellates)
    • Seaweeds (various large marine algae, such as Macrocystis, Fucus, Laminaria, Saccharina, Alaria, Undaria, and Sargassum)
    • Sedges (Carex spp.)
    • Seregon and Stonecrops (Sedum spp.)
    • Sloe, Plums, and Cherries (Prunus spinosa, P. domestica, P. cerasus, P. avium, and relatives)
    • Snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus, and related species)
    • Sorrel (Rumex acetosa, and related species of Rumex with sour leaves; i.e., Rumex subgenus Acetosa)
    • Sunflower (Helianthus annuus)
    • Tea (Camellia sinensis)
    • Thistles (Cirsium spp.)
    • Thrift (Armeria maritima)
    • Turnips (Brassica rapa, with an emphasis on turnips and their wild relatives)
    • Unnamed Hollylike Tree (Banksia sp., perhaps related to B. integrifolia)
    • Waterlilies (Nymphaea alba, and related species)
    • Wheat (Triticum aestivum, and close relatives)
    • White Flowers of the Morgul Vale (based on Arum spp.)
    • White Tree of Gondor (a species unique to J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendarium.)
    • Willows (Salix spp.)
    • Wood-Parsley (Anthricus sylvestris)
    • Yews (Taxus spp.)
    • Plants of Ithilien
    • Food Plants of Middle-earth
    • Hobbit Names
    • Bree Names
    • Unidentified and Excluded Middle-earth Plants
  8. A Note from the Illustrator