A glossary of people, places & objects in Earthsea

Now showing glossary items relating to plants


Also known as: Trees of the Grove

Trees found only in the Immanent Grove on Roke, particularly near its centre. Tall, long-lived, with brown trunks and oval leaves with a hint of gold, they're described as akin to oak or chestnut, with leaves like aspen or poplar. Arhada is Old Speech; they have no name in Hardic

Sources: Rejoining, OW

'"Their leaves don't all turn in autumn, but some at every season, so the foliage is always green with a gold light in it. Even on a dark day those trees seem to hold some sunlight. And in the night, it's never quite dark under them. There's a kind of glimmer in the leaves, like moonlight or starlight. … As you go deeper in, it's more and more only the trees of the Grove. And the roots of those go down deeper than the island. Some are huge trees, some slender, but you don't see many fallen, nor many saplings. They live a long, long time."'

[Rejoining, OW]


Corly-root smoke is used as a treatment for fever, though its efficacy appears doubtful

Sources: The Dragon of Pendor, WoE

Related entries: Healing; Herbal remedies


Also known as: hazia-root

Addictive drug used in Hort Town to give visions; users chew the root. It blackens the mouth and causes nervous disorders and eventually death

'"It soothes and numbs, letting the body be free of the mind. And the mind roams free. But when it returns to the body it needs more hazia … and the craving grows: and the life is short, for the stuff is poison. First there is a trembling, and later paralysis, and then death."'

[Hort Town, FS]


Large tree found on Roke, and probably elsewhere

Sources: Rejoining, OW

Herbal remedies

An important part of healing in the Archipelago. Herbal remedies mentioned include corly-root, for fever; white hallows, a white-flowering herb of unknown use; witch hazel, used on burns; and cobweb-wrapped perriot leaves, used to staunch bleeding (cobwebs alone are also used for bleeding). Herbs may be ingested as tea, applied to the skin in ointments, salves or poultices, or burned for their scented smoke; they may also form a component of potions and elixirs. Herb lore is commonly known by village witches & sorcerers, and is taught by the Master Herbal at the Roke School of Wizardry

Sources: The Shadow, WoE; The School for Wizards, WoE; The Loosing of the Shadow, WoE; The Dragon of Pendor, WoE; A Bad Thing, T; Mending the Green Pitcher, OW

Herbs, trance inducing

See Trance-inducing herbs

Hurbah trees

Low round-topped trees on whose leaves silkworms feed; ubiquitous on Lorbanery, where houses are thatched with hurbah-twigs and wine is made of hurbah-berries

Sources: Lorbanery, FS


Giant brown seaweed whose fronds are 80 to 100 feet long, whose fibres are used by the Children of the Open Sea (raft people) for cloth, rope and nets

Sources: The Children of the Open Sea, FS


Red-flowering tree growing in the Ninety Isles, Hort Town and Roke

Sources: The School for Wizards, WoE; The Dragon of Pendor, WoE; Hort Town, FS

Perriot leaves

Perriot leaves, wrapped in cobwebs, are used in healing to staunch bleeding; cobwebs alone are also used against bleeding

Sources: The Loosing of the Shadow, WoE

Related entries: Herbal remedies


Plant life largely overlaps with earth species. A wide range of plants and trees are mentioned, including oak, yew, cedar, fir, ash, elm, beech, aspen, poplar, chestnut, hemlock, rowan, willow, alder, juniper, olive, apple, pear, peach, cherry, walnut, hazel, raspberry, blackberry, blueberry, currant, grapevine, cantaloupe melon, potato, onion, bean, cabbage, lettuce, beet, turnip, squash, tomato, corn, barley & other grains, rose, bramble, heather, broom, witch hazel, thistle, fourfoil, king's foil, rosemary, mint, thyme, parsley, yarrow, clovenfoot, tansy, bay, moly, velver, sagebush, strawflower, pennyroyal, miller's-bane, (blue) daisy, madder, flag iris, grass, dune grass, wire-grass, bunchgrass, sedge, reed, rockwort, seaweed, fern, moss, lichen, fungus and mould.

Species probably unique to Earthsea include the pendick-tree (red-flowering tree), hurbah trees (low-growing trees that silkworms feed on), arhada (trees of the Immanent Grove), hemmen, hazia, perriot (see perriot leaves), corly (see corly-root), white hallows, sparkweed (yellow-flowered weed), lacefoam (white-flowered weed), rushwash (herb used to make rushwash tea), paramal (herb) and nilgu (brown seaweed).

The geographical distribution of most species is not constant throughout Earthsea. For example, hurbah trees are ubiquitious on Lorbanery in the South Reach but not mentioned elsewhere, pendick-trees are mentioned only in southerly isles such as Wathort. The desert vegetation around the Place of the Tombs on Atuan is predominantly wire-grass, sagebushes and juniper trees. Selidor has dune grasses, sedge and rushes, with few or no trees


Yellow meadow flowers common on Roke and Havnor, come into flower in early spring; said to grow where the wind dropped the burning ashes of Ilien after the assault by the Firelord

Sources: The School for Wizards, WoE; The Finder, TfE

'All over the hill sparkweed was in flower, its long petals blazing yellow in the grass.'

[The Finder, TfE]

Trance-inducing herbs

Also known as: Herbs, trance inducing

Unnamed herbs burned on bronze trays produce fumes that enable the One Priestess in Atuan to prophesy or to enter a trance-like state whilst dancing in the ceremonies of the darkness

Sources: Dreams and Tales, ToA; Light under the Hill, ToA

Trees of the Grove

See Arhada

White hallows

White-flowering herb growing in river meadows and marshes on Gont; prized by healers

Sources: The Shadow, WoE; Kalessin, T

'He came on a meadow between two streams where the flower called white hallows grew thick, and as these blossoms are rare and prized by healers, he came back again next day.'

[The Shadow, WoE]

Related entries: Healing; Herbal remedies



WoEA Wizard of Earthsea
ToAThe Tombs of Atuan
FSThe Farthest Shore
OWThe Other Wind
W12QThe Wind's Twelve Quarters
TfETales from Earthsea

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