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Pipe-weed was a plant of Middle-earth, in particular grown and enjoyed much by the hobbits of the Shire, to whom it was first introduced by Tobold Hornblower.


It was first grown in the Shire by Tobold Hornblower in Longbottom around SR 1070 (the year 2670 of the Third Age). Despite its foreign origins, the hobbits were the first to use it for smoking. Pipe-weed production became a major industry in the Shire, especially in the south.[1]

The same plant was known among the Dúnedain as Sweet Galenas for its fragrance. In Gondor, it was known as Westman's-weed, and grew there as a wild plant, appreciated most for its sweet-scented flowers. The colloquial name was in reference to its origins: it was apparently brought to Middle-earth by Númenóreans in the Second Age.[2]

Popular hobbit varieties of pipe-weed soon included Longbottom Leaf, Old Toby (named after Tobold Hornblower and revered by Bilbo Baggins), Southern Star, and Southlinch, which was grown in Bree.

Merry (of Peter Jackson's films) smoking his pipe-weed

The Wizard Gandalf learned to smoke pipe-weed from the Hobbits and was known to blow elaborate smoke-rings. Saruman initially criticized him for this, but eventually secretly took up smoking himself. After the destruction of Isengard, pipe-weed was found among its stores, but the hobbits Merry and Pippin failed to realized until later the implications of the discovery of Saruman's commerce with the Shire.[3]

A barrel of "Southfarthing Leaf" in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

See also


Foreign Language Translated name
Catalan Herbes de pipa
Croatian Trava za lulu
Czech Roura bylinkový
Danish Pibe urt
Dutch Pijpkruid
Finnish Piippukessu
French l'herbe à pipe
German Pfeifenkraut
Italian Erba Pipa
Latvian Cauruļu garšaugi
Lithuanian Vamzdžių žolės
Macedonian Cyrillic Цевни билки
Norwegian Pipeurt
Polish Fajkowe ziele
Portuguese A grama de Tubulação
Russian Трубочное зелье
Spanish Hierba para pipa


  1. The Lord of the Rings, Prologue, II: "Concerning Pipe-weed"
  2. The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, Book Five, Ch. VIII: "The Houses of Healing"
  3. The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, Book Three, Ch. IX: "Flotsam and Jetsam"