The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Presumably brought to Middle-earth sometime in the Second Age
Location
Westmansweed was a name used in Gondor
Origins
Brought across the Great Sea by the voyagers of Númenor
Race
Division
Culture
Meaning
From 'westman's weed', a reference to its source across the Sea in Númenor
Other names
Note
This is the same plant (evidently a variety of tobacco) used as pipe-weed in the northern lands. The Gondorians, though, gave no thought to smoking its leaves, and merely admired the scent of its flowers.

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  • Updated 3 July 2015
  • This entry is complete

Westmansweed

One of the many names for Halflings’ Leaf

Encyclopedia of Arda Timeline
Years of the Trees First Age Second Age Third Age Fourth Age and Beyond

A name among the common people for the plant otherwise known as sweet galenas in Gondor, or 'pipe-weed' to the Hobbits of the northern lands. The name westmansweed derives from the fact that the plant was brought to Middle-earth by the Men of the West, the Númenóreans,1 at some point in the Second Age. It grew wild in Gondor, where it was appreciated for its pleasant aroma, but not cultivated. In the north, the Hobbits valued it for more than its scent, drying its leaves for use in their pipes (hence its alternative names of 'pipe-weed' and 'Halflings' leaf').


Notes

1

There was a region in Númenor known as Nísimaldar, the Fragrant Trees, where the people of that land grew sweet-scented plants brought as gifts from the Elves of the Eressëa. Given that the scent of westmansweed is particularly praised, it might perhaps have come from this region, suggesting that the plant might even have had its ultimate origins in Aman itself.

See also...

Leaf, Sweet Galenas, Tobacco

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