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

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  • Updated 13 October 2020
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Laburnums

Trees with cascading yellow flowers

"Flowers swung upon her branches in clusters of yellow flame, formed each to glowing horn that spilled a golden rain upon the ground"
From a description of the Tree Laurelin
Quenta Silmarillion 1
Of the Beginning of Days

Laburnums are small deciduous trees most notable for their golden flowers, which form long trailing chains hanging from the tree's branches. Gandalf's fireworks in the Shire included memorable laburnums of fire, showing that the tree was certainly known to the Shire-hobbits. Laburnums, or trees closely related to them, also grew in Ithilien. There they were known by the Elvish name culumalda, 'golden tree', and they gave their name to the region known as Cormallen (where the trees grew in a 'golden circle' or 'golden ring').

Perhaps more profoundly, the laburnum lay behind Tolkien's inspiration for one the ancient Two Trees of Valinor. Laurelin, the Golden Tree, is described as having shining golden flowers hanging from its branches like those of a laburnum, and dropping a rain of golden light onto the ground beneath.


See also...

Cormallen, Culumalda

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  • Updated 13 October 2020
  • Updates planned: 1

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