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Introduced sometime after III 26701
Produced in the Southfarthing of the Shire
Probably descended from pipe-weed originally introduced by Tobold Hornblower
'Southern' must surely be related to the Southfarthing;2 it is uncertain whether 'Star' has any particular significance, but it may refer to the five-pointed shape of a pipe-weed flower.


About this entry:

  • Updated 1 October 2023
  • This entry is complete

Southern Star

A famous variety of pipe-weed

A variety of pipe-weed grown in the Southfarthing of the Shire, and considered among the best grown there, alongside Old Toby and Longbottom Leaf. The cultivation of pipe-weed in the Shire began with Tobold Hornblower in about the Shire-year 1070 (or III 2670), and so Southern Star was likely a descendant of the original Leaf plants that Tobold brought there from the Bree-land.

Southern Star, in common with all the pipe-weed growing in the southern regions of the Shire, was a variety of the plant known today as tobacco or Nicotiana, a plant with flowers possessing flowers with a distinctive five-pointed star shape. Though the 'Star' of Southern Star's name is not directly explained, it seems more than plausible that it derived from this star-shaped flower of the pipe-weed plant.



All we can say for certain is that Southern Star was being produced in the early days of the Fourth Age, when Meriadoc Brandybuck recorded it in his Herblore of the Shire. It presumably dated back much further than this, perhaps as far as c. III 2670 (or 1070 by the Shire-reckoning) when pipe-weed was first introduced into the Shire.


Given that Southern Star was only one of several varieties of pipe-weed grown in the Southfarthing, the particular choice of the word 'Southern' may imply that this variety came from the southern parts of that farthing, perhaps even as far south as the regions near Sarn Ford on the Shire's southern border.

See also...

Longbottom Leaf, Pipe-weed


About this entry:

  • Updated 1 October 2023
  • This entry is complete

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