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First cultivated in c. III 2670 (1070 by the Shire-reckoning)
Grown especially in the Southfarthing of the Shire, and also on the Bree-hill
Cultivated from wild herbs by Tobold Hornblower, possibly originating from the Bree-land1
Most commonly enjoyed by Hobbits, though members of various other races also enjoyed smoking a pipe
Other names


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  • Updated 23 April 2016
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The Shire-hobbits’ contribution to civilization

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Tobacco, or a closely related plant, adopted for smoking by the Hobbits, and hence also called Halflings' Leaf.

The Varieties of Pipe-weed

There were evidently many varieties of pipe-weed, but those for which we have names all originated in the Shire's Southfarthing.

Longbottom Leaf Produced by the Hornblowers, whose ancestor Tobold first brought pipe-weed to the Shire, Longbottom Leaf took its name from the town of Longbottom in the Southfarthing. It was there that Tobold Hornblower first grew pipe-weed in the Shire, suggesting that Longbottom Leaf was one of the oldest varieties.
Old Toby Another variety with a connection to Tobold Hornblower ('Old Toby' was Tobold's nickname in later life), either developed by him or named in honour of him. This connection implies that, like Longbottom Leaf, Old Toby dated back to the earlier days of pipe-weed cultivation in the Southfarthing.
Southern Star We know little about this variety of pipe-weed, though doubtless the 'Southern' part of its name derives from the Southfarthing of the Shire (and perhaps suggests that it was grown in the southern parts of that farthing). The 'Star' of its name is probably a reference to the star-like shape typical of flowers in this family of plants.



Tobold refused to explain the source of his Pipe-weed, but circumstantial evidence strongly suggests that he discovered it in the lands around Bree during travels there in his youth. The plant was brought to Bree from the southern and eastern lands of Middle-earth, and to there from Númenor during the Second Age (hence its alternative name of westmansweed).

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