The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien

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  • Updated 13 February 2015
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Ferns

Plants with feathery green leaves, of which some varieties are known as 'bracken', and which commonly grow in thickets known as 'brakes'. Ferns were common all across Middle-earth, and we have accounts of them in places as far apart as the Talath Dirnen of West Beleriand and the lands east of the Misty Mountains.

Dried fern makes effective tinder for the lighting of fires, and it was used in this way by the goblins when they attempted to trap Bilbo Baggins and his companions in burning fir trees during the Quest of Erebor.

The word 'ferny' is used of a place growing rich with ferns, and from this came a family name used among the Men of Bree. Notorious among this family was Bill Ferny, who became an agent of Saruman at Bree.


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  • Updated 13 February 2015
  • Updates planned: 1

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