The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Known as far north as the Shire, and as far south as Ithilien
Herbs of the genus Thymus
As English 'time'
Probably from Greek thumon, relating to burnt sacrifices1


About this entry:

  • Updated 19 January 2013
  • This entry is complete


A fragrant herb that grows in clusters of slender small-leaved shoots, producing many small flowers. It was known far and wide in Middle-earth; it was evidently familiar to the Shire-folk, and could also be found in the valleys of the Misty Mountains and among the aromatic gardens of Ithilien, where it grew into large bushes. Well known as a herb used in cooking, Sam asked Gollum to gather him some of thyme while preparing a meal in Ithilien (a notion that Gollum found appalling).



The history of the word thyme is not completely established, but it appears to be ultimately derived from Greek thuó, to burn a sacrifice, which implies that the plant was at one time used as a form of incense.

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