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  • Updated 15 July 2019
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Cornel

A shrub producing bright red berries

A slender shrub or tree with bright green leaves, growing several metres tall and producing brilliant red berries. Cornel was among the many plants observed by Frodo and Sam as they journeyed through Ithilien, though at the time of their journey (in the month of March) they were far too early to see cornel's prominent red fruit, which appears in late summer.

It is curious that the Hobbits apparently recognised1 the cornel they passed in Ithilien, because the plant prefers warmer climates and would be unlikely to grow in the wild as far north as the Shire. This suggests that cornel had been transported northward from Gondor at some point in the past (we know that this happened with pipe-weed, for example) and Sam as a gardener would have little difficulty recognising the plant.


Notes

1

As Frodo and Sam travelled through Ithilien, they passed through a heath on which they found '...ling and broom and cornel, and other shrubs that they did not know.' (The Two Towers IV 4, Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit) If there were other shrubs unknown to them, that implies that cornel was one that they (or at least the gardener Samwise) were able to recognise.

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  • Updated 15 July 2019
  • Updates planned: 1

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