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  • Updated 10 February 2016
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Tamarisk

A kind of spreading flowering shrub or small tree that commonly grows in thickets. Also known as 'salt cedars', these plants are native to hotter and drier areas. Frodo and Sam found thickets of tamarisk among the many different varieties of herb and shrub that grew wild in Ithilien, but given the preference of these plants for drier conditions, it seems likely that Ithilien was in the northern part of their range in Middle-earth.1


Notes

1

Though it seems extremely unlikely that tamarisk grew as far north as the Shire, it's implied that Sam recognised the plant (at least, it's described in a way that seems to suggest it fell within his considerable herb-lore). As a gardener, we'd expect Sam to have had a wide botanical knowledge, but it still seems slightly strange that a Hobbit who had never left the Shire should be familiar with a shrub from the arid southern lands. Perhaps tamarisk and other such plants had been brought northwards as exotic garden plants earlier in Middle-earth's history, and were still cultivated in parts of the north at the end of the Third Age.

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About this entry:

  • Updated 10 February 2016
  • Updates planned: 1

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