All plants, animals, food, etc. mentioned in The Hobbit

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Straelbora
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All plants, animals, food, etc. mentioned in The Hobbit

Postby Straelbora » Fri Jan 23, 2015 3:41 am

I've just reread "The Hobbit," highlighting every mention of plants, animals, food and drink, etc.

Words in brackets are implied. For example, Tolkien wrote of 'vinyards' and 'wine' but never explicitly mentioned 'grapes.'

For some things, he mentions only a specific, such as the 'yellow rockrose.' Apparently, there are other kinds of rockrose, so I list it Rockrose (yellow).

For others, he mentions more than one type, such as 'wild cat' and 'tom-cat.' For those, I list Cat (tom; wild).

For yet other items, the thing itself is mentioned, as well as varieties, such as eggs, fried eggs and poached eggs. I list this as Eggs: (fried; poached).


PLANTS:
Bushes & Vines: [Grape]-vinyards; Heather; Ivy; Rockrose (yellow);
[Cultivated]: Coffee; Tea; Tobacco
Flowers: Daisy; Laburnum; Lily; Snapdragon; Woodland Flowers
Grass: Hay; Reeds; Rushes; Straw; [seeds for seed-cake]; [grain for bread]
Herbs: Marjoram; Sage; Sorrel; Thyme
[Misc]: Bracken; Clover: (cockscomb; purple); Fern; Fungus; Lichen; Mould; Moss
Trees: Alder; Ash; Beech; Chestnut; Elm; Fir; Hawthorn; Larch; Oak: (cork); Pine; Thorn; Willow; Yew

BEASTS:
[Invertebrates]:
Insects: Bee; Butterfly: (black emperor; purple emperor); Fly; Hornet; Locust; Moth: (black; dark grey)
[Misc]: Snail; Spider; Worm
Fish: Fish (blind)
[Reptile]: Lizard; Snake
Birds: Booby; Carrion Birds; Crow; Eagle; Finches; Owl (barn; screech); Raven; Starling; Stork; Thrush
[Mammals]: Bat: (huge black); Bear: (black); Cat: (tom; wild); Cow: (kine); Deer: (red; white)- Fawn, Goat; Hart, Hind; Dog; Donkey; Elephant; Hare; Horse; Mouse; Ox; Pony; Rabbit; Rat; Seal; Sheep [Ram]; Squirrel: (black); Weasel; Wolf

FOOD:
Baked [Goods]: Bannock; Biscuit; Bread; Cake: (twice-baked); Cram; Flour; Pie (mince); Pie (pork); Seed-cake; Scone (buttered); Tart (apple); Toast;
Drink: Ale; Beer; Coffee; Mead; Milk; Porter; Tea; Water; Wine (Dorwinion; red)
[Dairy]: Milk; Butter; Cheese; Cream: (clotted);
Fruit, Nuts, Berries, Etc.: Apple; Blackberry; Hawthorn berry; Raspberry; Strawberry (wild);
Jam (raspberry); Jelly
Nuts; Acorn; Chestnut
Honey
Meat: Fat; Meat (roast); Chicken: Eggs: (fried; poached); Cow: [Beef]; Deer: [Venison]; Goat; Hare; Ox; [Pig]: (Bacon, Pork, Ham); Rabbit; Sheep: (Mutton); Squirrel
Vegetables: Salad; Pickles [Cucumber]

BEINGS: Dragon; Elf (Deep; High; Light; Sea; Wood); Giant: (stone); Goblin (Orc); Hobbit; Men; Ogre; Troll; Vampire; Warg
Last edited by Straelbora on Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: All plants, animals, food, etc. mentioned in The Hobbit

Postby Greg » Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:39 pm

Busy man.
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Straelbora
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Re: All plants, animals, food, etc. mentioned in The Hobbit

Postby Straelbora » Fri Jan 23, 2015 3:47 pm

Greg wrote:Busy man.


20 -30 minutes before bed every night.

Now I'm thinking of taking on "The Lord of the Rings," adding to this list.
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Re: All plants, animals, food, etc. mentioned in The Hobbit

Postby Udwin » Fri Jan 23, 2015 4:06 pm

Most excellent and comprehensive work, sir!
Just a head's up (I'm sure it's in your notes but somehow didn't make it into this post): the herb thyme is in the Chapter 6 passage that describes vegetation just outside of Goblin-gate (p 97 in my paperback).
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Straelbora
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Re: All plants, animals, food, etc. mentioned in The Hobbit

Postby Straelbora » Fri Jan 23, 2015 7:34 pm

Udwin wrote:Most excellent and comprehensive work, sir!
Just a head's up (I'm sure it's in your notes but somehow didn't make it into this post): the herb thyme is in the Chapter 6 passage that describes vegetation just outside of Goblin-gate (p 97 in my paperback).


P. 101 in my version, but in reviewing my highlights, I see that I also missed "goat" on this list.

I've edited the above to include both 'thyme' and 'goat.'
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Re: All plants, animals, food, etc. mentioned in The Hobbit

Postby wulfgar » Sat Jan 24, 2015 1:48 am

Great list, although pickles don't neccesarily mean cucumbers. People used to pickle anything and everything. Here in the south you can find pickled okra, asparagus, watermelon rind, green tomatoes, onions, and more. I have made and eaten pickled beef at reenactments before.
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Re: All plants, animals, food, etc. mentioned in The Hobbit

Postby Straelbora » Sat Jan 24, 2015 3:23 am

wulfgar wrote:Great list, although pickles don't neccesarily mean cucumbers. People used to pickle anything and everything. Here in the south you can find pickled okra, asparagus, watermelon rind, green tomatoes, onions, and more. I have made and eaten pickled beef at reenactments before.


True, but when you say you'd like some pickles, people bring pickled cucumbers. According to internet sources, cucumbers are implied for Americans and Canadians, and in the UK, it often references a chutney, but that's post-1922, so I'm guessing Edwardian/Victorian and prior Brits meant pickled cucumbers when they said 'pickles.'
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Re: All plants, animals, food, etc. mentioned in The Hobbit

Postby Greg » Sat Jan 24, 2015 1:17 pm

Udwin wrote:Most excellent and comprehensive work, sir!
Just a head's up (I'm sure it's in your notes but somehow didn't make it into this post): the herb thyme is in the Chapter 6 passage that describes vegetation just outside of Goblin-gate (p 97 in my paperback).


And to think that my wife JUST suggested that I carry some thyme!
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Re: All plants, animals, food, etc. mentioned in The Hobbit

Postby Kortoso » Mon Jul 18, 2016 5:07 pm

I want to devise a article on tracking animals of Middle Earth. Hopefully I can incorporate this information.

Basically there will be an overlay of traditional beasts of Europe, with Tolkien's mythical creatures and races added.
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Re: All plants, animals, food, etc. mentioned in The Hobbit

Postby Straelbora » Wed Jul 20, 2016 12:20 pm

Kortoso wrote:I want to devise a article on tracking animals of Middle Earth. Hopefully I can incorporate this information.

Basically there will be an overlay of traditional beasts of Europe, with Tolkien's mythical creatures and races added.


Cool project.
Vápnum sínum skala maðr velli á
feti ganga framar því at óvist er at vita
nær verðr á vegum úti geirs um þörf guma
Hávamál
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Re: All plants, animals, food, etc. mentioned in The Hobbit

Postby Straelbora » Thu Aug 03, 2017 10:59 pm

Just received "The Flora of Middle-earth," which Amazon took so long to fulfill (I ordered it last October) that I forgot that I had ordered it.

Our work here is done- a botanist has done an exhaustive review of all the plants mentioned in Tolkien's Legendarium.

It's thorough and illustrated by the botanist's son with wonderful wood-cut prints.

https://www.amazon.com/Flora-Middle-Ear ... ddle+earth

This is seriously going to inform both my flower garden and vegetable and herb gardens at the Dragons Wood Inn.
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Re: All plants, animals, food, etc. mentioned in The Hobbit

Postby Kortoso » Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:15 pm

That is the awesomeness. :P
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Re: All plants, animals, food, etc. mentioned in The Hobbit

Postby Elleth » Fri Aug 04, 2017 12:17 pm

Oh that is awesome - very cool!
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Re: All plants, animals, food, etc. mentioned in The Hobbit

Postby Greg » Fri Aug 04, 2017 12:29 pm

Straelbora wrote:This is seriously going to inform both my flower garden and vegetable and herb gardens at the Dragons Wood Inn.

THIS is awesome.
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Re: All plants, animals, food, etc. mentioned in The Hobbit

Postby SierraStrider » Fri Jan 31, 2020 4:48 am

I was recently pondering what herbs and spices would be appropriate for an authentic kit, and after some semi-random keyword searches through the text of The Hobbit and LOTR, decided to spring for the book Flora of Middle-Earth, mentioned above by Straelbora.

This gave me a starting point—there’s a section on food-specific plants, but there were many other plants listed in the book that had (often tangential) culinary uses. I went through and searched for the plants mentioned in the text. The ones I was able to confirm are listed below (much of this is redundant, given Straelboara's previous research, but I thought I'd include everything to save cross-referencing):

Domesticated food crops:
Apples
Barley
Blackberries
Cabbage
Carrots
Cucumber (Inferred from “pickles”, though other things can be pickled)
Cherries
Chestnuts
Flax seed (inferred from flax)
Grapes
Hazelnuts
Hemp seed (inferred from hemp, itself a slight presumption given that 'hemp' can colloquially refer to any number of plant fibers for rope-making)
Mushrooms
Olives (Inferred from olive trees, only mentioned as growing wild in Ithillien, not necessarily cultivated.)
Plums
Pole Beans
Po – ta – toes
Raspberries
Strawberries
Sunflower Seeds (Inferred from sunflowers)
Turnips
Wheat (may not imply actual mundane wheat; mentioned in the context of "Wheat of the gods" in The Silmarillion)

Herbs and spices:
Bay leaves
Cardamom
Juniper berries (inferred from juniper trees)
Lavender
Marjoram
Parsley
Sage
Thyme

Wild Forage (sometimes cultivated):
Acorns (inferred from oak trees)
Beechnuts (inferred from beech trees)
Cress
Dandelions
Nettles
Pine nuts (Inferred from pine trees)
Seaweed
Sloe
Sorrel

Beverages:
Birch sap (inferred from birch trees)
Coffee
Tea
(see also: juniper, sloe, grapes, virtually anything else that ferments)


There were several plants mentioned in Flora of which I couldn't find mention in the text and which lacked the thorough citation of the previous plants; again, I'm only searching The Hobbit and LOTR, and may be missing things even there.

Blueberries
Hops (possibly inferred from ale?)
Oats (mentioned only in the gnomish lexicon, apparently)
Oranges
Peas
Pepper (as in peppercorns)

Absence of evidence may not be evidence of absence, except in a few cases; According to Flora, Tomatoes were mentioned in an earlier edition of The Hobbit, but in later revisions they were swapped for 'pickles'. It can be inferred that Tolkien didn't think that New World fruit was suitable for his emphatically old world. That leaves potatoes, sunflowers and tobacco as the only post-Columbian crops in Middle-earth, and given his intentional snubbing of tomatoes and cotton, it seems prudent to assume that these deliberate exceptions are the only ones. Sigh...there goes anything with capsaicin from my spice cabinet...

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