You might recall the scene in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers where Théoden (played by the late great Bernard Hill) is at his son Théodred's tomb with Gandalf.

As they pay their respects, Théoden holds a small white flower in front of the burial mound, which is covered in these same little blooms along with the surrounding graves of his ancestors. Those flowers are Simbelmynë, a plant from Tolkien's legendarium.


(This is like the question, "Which plant was used as Athelas in LOTR / Hobbit movies?") I'm curious; does anyone know what real-life plant was used as a stand-in for Simbelmynë in that scene?

Théoden: Simbelmynë. Ever has it grown on the tombs of my forebears. Now it shall cover the grave of my son. Alas these evil days should be mine. The young perish and the old linger. That I should live to see the last days of my house.

Gandalf: Théodred's death was not of your making.

Théoden: No parent should have to bury their child.

Gandalf: He was strong in life. His spirit will find the way to the halls of your fathers.


1 Answer 1


According to JRR Tolkien, (per Nomenclature of middle-Earth), the flower was inspired by the wood anemone.

Evermind: A flower-name, translation of Rohan simbelmynë. The element -mind has the sense "memory’; the name thus resembles "forget-me-not’, but a quite different kind of flower is intended: an imagined variety of anemone, growing in turf like Anemone pulsatilla, the pasque-flower, but smaller and white like the wood anemone. Translate by sense. The Swedish and Dutch versions both omit the element -mind, and so produce names equivalent to "everlasting flower’, which is not the point. Though the plant bloomed at all seasons, its flowers were not "immortelles’. (The Swedish has evighetsblommor, the Dutch Immerdaar).

Nomenclature of middle-Earth

In the film they appear to have used an anemone leveillei (the Chinese woodland wildflower) as a stand-in.

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It may interest you to learn that most of the flowers on the graves aren't actually real, but are in fact silk flowers that were cut and shaped and added by the production team.

Phillipa Boyens: And the flowers here are completely artificial, right?

Peter Jackson: Sure. The flowers here are just little bits of white cloth, actually, like white silk.

TTT: Audio Commentary - Directors + Writers

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Randy Cook: We had a little production line going in the Art Department offices trimming down [silk] flowers that we had acquired from China and reshaping them into the shape that Alan wanted to have. Most of them were silk but there's one or two that he picks up that we had to source from real flowers.

TTT Audio Commentary: WETA Design Commentary

  • 1
    Also, the flowers on the graves are very obviously not the same by quite some margin.
    – j4nd3r53n
    Commented May 7 at 8:26

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