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Wands

Various wands of different woods (left to right): Harry Potter's wand is holly; Ron Weasley's wand is willow; Hermione Granger's wand is vine; Sirius Black's wand is unknown; Severus Snape's wand is unknown; and Lord Voldemort's wand is yew

"Only a minority of trees can produce wand quality wood (just as a minority of humans can produce magic). It takes years of experience to tell which ones have the gift, although the job is made easier if Bowtruckles are found nesting in the leaves, as they never inhabit mundane trees."
Garrick Ollivander[src]

Various different types of wood are used in the construction of wands. They are also embedded with a core of a magical substance. Wands vary according to length, from at least 7" to 18", as well as rigidity, ranging from 'springy'[1] to 'unyielding'[2].

Nature

Every single wand is unique and will depend for its character on the particular tree and magical creature from which it derives its materials. Moreover, each wand, from the moment it finds its ideal owner, will begin to learn from and teach its human partner.[3]

Known wand woods

Wand wood Known wands constructed of this wood Notes
Acacia

Mentioned only (Pottermore)

A very unusual wand wood which creates tricky wands that often refuse to produce magic for any but their owner, and also withhold their best effects from all but those most gifted.
Alder

Quirinus Quirrell's wand

The ideal owner of Alder wand is not stubborn or obstinate, but often helpful, considerate and most likeable. 
Apple

Dylan Marwood wand

Applewood wands are not made in great numbers. They are powerful and best suited to an owner of high aims and ideals, as this wood mixes poorly with Dark magic.
Ash

Cedric Diggory's wand

Corresponds to one of the months of the Celtic calendar, from 18 February to 17 March.[4]
Ron Weasley's first wand (originally Charlie Weasley's)
Aspen

Silver Spears' members

The proper owner of the aspen wand is often an accomplished duellist, or destined to be so, for the aspen wand is one of those particularly suited to martial magic. An infamous and secretive eighteenth-century duelling club, which called itself the Silver Spears, was reputed to admit only those who owned aspen wands.
Beech A wand produced by Garrick Ollivander A wand made of beech was presented to Harry Potter in 1991. It did not choose him.
Birch

Though Garrick Ollivander himself did not use it, his associate in the Hogsmeade branch was known to sell wands made from birch.

Corresponds to one of the months of the Celtic calendar, from 24 December to 20 January.[4]

Dolores Umbridge's wand
Blackthorn

The wand of a Snatcher that was stolen by Ron Weasley and later used by Harry Potter.

This wand did not work well with Harry Potter. The spells he cast with this wand was said to be much less powerful than the ones he cast with his own wand.
According to legend, the wand of Sir Cadogan
Black Walnut Mentioned only (Pottermore) Less common than the standard walnut wand, that of black walnut seeks a master of good instincts and powerful insight. Black walnut is a very handsome wood, but not the easiest to master.
Cedar Horace Slughorn's wand The cedar wand finds its perfect home where there is perspicacity and perception. Something that goes against Slughorn's personality, as he was not particularly perceptive.
Cherry

Mary Cattermole's wand

Both Mary's and Neville's wand has the same wand wood and core.

Neville Longbottom's second wand
Several Mahoutokoro students Cherry wood is a highly praised and sought after wood among Mahoutokoro students in Japan.
Gilderoy Lockhart's wand This wand was considered expensive, possibly because of the wood is was made out of.
Chestnut

Peter Pettigrew's wand

This wand had a second master in the form of Ron Weasley after it was taken from Pettigrew during the Skirmish at Malfoy Manor.
The wands of three successive Chief Warlocks of the Wizengamot[5]
Professor Kettleburn, former Care of Magical Creatures teacher Chestnut wands prefer witches and wizards who are skilled tamers of magical beasts. Which explains why a chestnut wand chose Kettleburn, a former professor of Care of Magical Creatures.
Cypress

Remus Lupin's wand

Cypress wands are said to be well-matched to wizards who are self-sacrificing and willing to die a heroic death. Lupin spent the majority of his life alone to save others from having to deal with the consequences of his affliction and died defending Hogwarts castle in the Battle of Hogwarts.
Dogwood

Mentioned only (Pottermore)

It is speculated that Fred Weasley's wand is made of Dogwood.
Ebony

A wand produced by Garrick Ollivander

A wand made of ebony was presented to Harry Potter in 1991. It did not choose him.
Elder

The Elder Wand

Corresponds to one of the months of the Celtic calendar, from 25 November to 23 December.[4]
Elm

Lucius Malfoy's wand

The wand is also part of his walking stick, in 1993 while leaving his meeting with Dumbledore he pulls it out of his stick.
English Oak Mentioned only (Pottermore) A wand for good times and bad, this is a friend as loyal as the wizard who deserves it. Wands of English oak demand partners of strength, courage and fidelity.
Merlin's wand is rumoured to be English oak.
Fir

Minerva McGonagall's wand

Hawthorn

Draco Malfoy's wand

Corresponds to one of the months of the Celtic calendar, from 13 May to 9 June. There is also an old popular superstition in Great Britain and Ireland that ill-luck attended the uprooting of hawthorns.[6][4]
Hazel

Sybill Trelawney's wand

Corresponds to one of the months of the Celtic calendar, from 5 August to 1 September
Holly

Harry Potter's wand

Corresponds to one of the months of the Celtic calendar, from 8 July to 4 August.[4]
Hornbeam

Viktor Krum's wand

Garrick Ollivander's wand
Ivy

Though Garrick Ollivander himself did not use it, his associate in the Hogsmeade branch was known to sell wands made from ivy.

Corresponds to one of the months of the Celtic calendar, from 30 September to 27 October.[4]

Larch

Celestina Warbeck's wand

Laurel

Mentioned only (Pottermore)

It is said that a laurel wand cannot perform a dishonourable act, although, in the quest for glory (a not uncommon goal for those best suited to these wands), laurel wands have been known to perform powerful and sometimes lethal magic.[7]
Lime Newton Scamander's wand.[8][9]
Mahogany

James Potter's wand

The mahogany tree symbolises strength, safety, protectiveness, and practicality. Likewise, the wand wood could reflect James I's character, in particular, his protectiveness of Harry, his son.
Maple

A wand produced by Garrick Ollivander

A wand made of maple was presented to Harry Potter in 1991. It did not choose him.
Oak

Rubeus Hagrid's wand

Corresponds to one of the months of the Celtic calendar, from 10 June to 7 July[4].

According to Pottermore, both English oak and Red oak can be used as wand wood.
Pear

Mentioned only (Pottermore)

Pine
Poplar

Eldritch Diggory's wand

The existence of these wands and its owners was cited as evidence against a myth that poplar wands never chose politicians.
Evangeline Orpington's wand
Redwood

Mentioned only (Pottermore)

Reed

Though Garrick Ollivander himself did not use it, his associate in the Hogsmeade branch was known to sell wands made from reed.

Corresponds to one of the months of the Celtic calendar, from 28 October to 23 November.[4]

Rosewood

Fleur Delacour's wand

Rowan

Mentioned only (Pottermore)

Corresponds to one of the months of the Celtic calendar, from 21 January to 17 February
Silver lime

According to Pottermore, silver lime is an incredibly unusual and attractive wood that works best for Seers and those skilled at Legilimency. It was greatly in vogue in the nineteenth century when the demand outstripped supply, causing some wandmakers to dye other wood in effort to fool purchasers into believing they had purchased a silver lime wand.

Spruce
Swamp mayhaw

According to Pottermore, Violetta Beauvais, a wandmaker from New Orleans, used the wood for all of her wands.[10]

Sycamore The sycamore makes a questing wand, eager for new experience and losing brilliance if engaged in mundane activities. 
Vine

Hermione Granger's wand

Corresponds to one of the months of the Celtic calendar, from 2 September to 29 September.[4]
Walnut

Bellatrix Lestrange's wand

Walnut is associated with some old European superstitions. In seventeenth-century Italy, a walnut tree in Benevento was believed to be a gathering place for witches.

According to Pottermore, both Walnut and Black Walnut may be used for wand wood.
Willow

Lily Evans's wand

Corresponds to one of the months of the Celtic calendar, from 15 April to 12 May.[4]
Ron Weasley's second wand
Yew Lord Voldemort's wand The wand of yew is reputed to endow its possessor with the power of life and death, which might, of course, be said of all wands; and yet yew retains a particularly dark and fearsome reputation in the spheres of duelling and all curses. Something that the wood and Lord Voldemort had in common.[11]
Ginevra Weasley's wand A yew wand is suited for a person who is a fierce protector of others.[12] Protectiveness is an aspect of Ginny's personality. She has frequently defended Harry Potter against others.
A wand produced by Garrick Ollivander A wand made of yew was presented to Harry Potter in 1991. It did not choose him.

Behind the scenes

  • Although J. K. Rowling has said that she only used the Celtic assignations for Harry, Ron and Hermione,[13] Draco Malfoy's wand wood of hawthorn matches his date of birth in the Celtic tree calendar as well.
  • Wand wood bearing trees are often protected by bowtruckles and protective curses cast by their owners.[14]
  • Many superstitions have arisen around wands, based on the woods used. Certain wands are supposedly incompatible "When his wand's oak and hers is holly, then to marry would be folly." It also can denote flaws in the owner's character "Rowan gossips, chestnut drones, ash is stubborn, hazel moans". Among these sayings is also "wand of elder, never prosper".[15]
  • It is unclear if magical variants of trees used as wand woods, such as the Wiggentree and the Whomping Willow, can be used as wand wood, or if such wands would have additional properties.

Author's comments

J. K. Rowling has explained her choice of wand woods for Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort:

"It was not an arbitrary decision: holly has certain connotations that were perfect for Harry, particularly when contrasted with the traditional associations of yew, from which Voldemort’s wand is made. European tradition has it that the holly tree (the name comes from ‘holy’) repels evil, while yew, which can achieve astonishing longevity (there are British yew trees over two thousand years old), can symbolise both death and resurrection; the sap is also poisonous."[13]

Rowling has also revealed that she discovered that Harry's wand wood corresponded to his date of birth in the Celtic tree calendar afterwards, and decided to use the calendar to assign the wand woods of Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger as a "hidden connection" between the three[13].

See also

Appearances

Notes and references

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