The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Location
Particularly associated with the Withywindle, but noted as far south as Ithilien
Species
Any of about seventy species in the family Nymphaeaceae, but especially Nymphaea alba, the white water-lily common in Europe (and thus in the northwest of Middle-earth)
Meaning
So named because their flowers bear a resemblance to ordinary lilies, though in fact the two kinds of flower are not closely related

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About this entry:

  • Updated 23 August 2020
  • This entry is complete

Water-lilies

Floating flowers of pond and stream

Water flowers known for their round, flat leaves floating on the surfaces of ponds and quiet rivers. Their flowers can be of many colours, but Goldberry the River-daughter seems to have had a particular interest in white lilies. Tom Bombadil travelled to the lower reaches of the Withywindle to gather white water-lilies for her, and it was while returning from a lily-gathering expedition that he discovered Frodo and his companions, and rescued them from Old Man Willow. Goldberry seems to have used her lilies to recreate her original home in the river: when Tom brought the Hobbits back to his house, they found a seated Goldberry surrounded by water-lilies floating in pots of earthenware.

Like many other types of plant and flower, water-lilies were also known to grow in the verdant lands of Ithilien by the River Anduin. Long after their adventure with Tom and Goldberry, Frodo and Sam found their broad leaves floating in a quiet stream running down to the Great River.


See also...

Tom Bombadil

Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 23 August 2020
  • This entry is complete

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