Note: The more common meaning of Eglantine is a variety of rose bush known as sweetbrier (Rosa eglanteria). However, given the context in this passage, it seems that Tolkien intended to refer to the European honeysuckle, which is a viney trailing plant.

Eglantine, name for various kinds of rose (family Rosaceae), chiefly sweetbrier , and for a honeysuckle (family Caprifoliaceae). The name eglantine has been much used in English poetry.

 Note: Milton, in the following lines, has applied the name to some twining plant, perhaps the honeysuckle.

               Through the sweetbrier, or the vine, Or the twisted eglantine.  --L'Allegro, 47.

Woodbine, a name for several European vines, is most often L. periclymenum, also called eglantine.

European honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymenum) A decidious climber growing to 4.5m at a medium rate. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. A climbing plant, it can be allowed to scramble on the ground where it makes a good ground cover. The flowers are very fragrant, especially in the evening when it attracts pollinating moths. New leaves often start to open in January with well-grown leaves in April. Twining plants, they can bind themselves so tightly round young trees that they can prevent the trunk from being able to expand.


“ . . .and asphodel and many lily-flowers nodded their half-opened heads in the grass: deep green grass beside the pools . . .” “The swift growth of the wild with briar and eglantine and trailing clematis . . .”

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Honeysuckle blossom

European honeysuckle