Useful Reference Works
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Plants of Middle-Earth: 1. Foreword
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This work is still incomplete; please take that into account when reading. It was moved from the Beta section to the new Research Articles section in order to help Anglachel work out any bugs.
This brief account of some of the olvar (or plant life) of Middle-Earth is intended to help the urban fanfiction writer avoid any egregious errors when describing a scene of nature.
Only plants which Tolkien explicitly mentions as present in Middle-Earth are included. This does not mean, of course, that plants not included did not exist in Middle-Earth; it only means that there is no direct evidence that they did. At this point, the document describes Middle-Earth chiefly as it was during the Second and Third Ages, i.e. as described in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. A few references to Beleriand, as described in the Silmarillion, have also been included.
The list is arranged in alphabetical order by the common English names of trees and flowers. Cross-references are given where a plant has names in more than one language, i.e. Sindarin and Westron. A brief overview of the appearance, notable characteristics, and natural habitat of each plant is followed by any important references to it in the texts.
To save on bandwidth, there are no illustrations. If you would like to view photographs of a particular plant species, or need to look up the definition of a botanical term, consult the websites given in the Appendix.
References are by chapter number for The Hobbit and the Quenta Silmarillion, and by book and chapter number for The Lord of the Rings; for example, the notation LR 1.1 means Chapter One of Book One of The Lord of the Rings.
Corrections, either in botanical matters or the geography and history of Middle-Earth, are welcomed. Please email the author at the address above if you note any errors.
Additional Note: Forodwaith was kind enough to allow me to build on her work. Certain plants will have information added about herbal uses.
Be aware, most of these herbal remedies are listed based only on someone, somewhere, some century, writing or posting that they believe them to be effective for a particular indication. Some of them may be toxins. I will try to indicate where I was able to find some scientific information, but much of it has no scientific backing. This does not necessarily mean the herbs are ineffective, it may mean no research has been done or that it is inconclusive. I welcome any information those more knowledgeable than myself can add.
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