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Wands

Various wands of different woods.

"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].

Known wand woods

Wand wood Known wands constructed of this wood Notes
Acacia

Mentioned only (Pottermore)

Alder

Quirinus Quirrell's wand

Corresponds to one of the months of the Celtic calendar, from 18 March to 14 April
Apple

Dylan Marwood wand

Ash Corresponds to one of the months of the Celtic calendar, from 18 February to 17 March[3].
Aspen

The Silver Spears' members

Beech

A wand produced by Garrick Ollivander that was presented to Harry Potter in 1991. It did not choose him.

Birch

Corresponds to one of the months of the Celtic calendar, from 24 December to 20 January[3].

Blackthorn
Black Walnut

Mentioned only (Pottermore)

Cedar

Mentioned only (Pottermore)

Cherry

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

Chestnut
Cypress

Remus Lupin's wand

Dogwood

Mentioned only (Pottermore)

Ebony

A wand produced by Garrick Ollivander that 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[3].
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.
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.[5][3].
Hazel

Sybill Trelawney's wand

Corresponds to one of the months of the Celtic calendar, from 5 August to 1 September
Holly Corresponds to one of the months of the Celtic calendar, from 8 July to 4 August[3].
Hornbeam
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[3].

Larch

Celestina Warbeck's wand

Laurel

Mentioned only (Pottermore)

Mahogany

James Potter's wand

Maple

A wand produced by Garrick Ollivander that 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[3].
  • According to Pottermore, both English oak and Red oak can be used as wand wood.
  • Merlin's wand is rumoured to be English oak
Pear

Mentioned only (Pottermore)

Pine

Mentioned only (Pottermore)

Poplar
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[3].

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

Mentioned only (Pottermore)

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

Mentioned only (Pottermore)

Sycamore

Mentioned only (Pottermore)

Vine

Hermione Granger's wand

Corresponds to one of the months of the Celtic calendar, from 2 September to 29 September[3].
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 Corresponds to one of the months of the Celtic calendar, from 15 April to 12 May[3].
Yew

Lord Voldemort's wand

Further information: Yew

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."[6]

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[6].

Behind the scenes

  • Although J. K. Rowling has said that she only used the Celtic assignations for Harry, Ron and Hermione,[6] 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.[7]
  • 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".[8]
  • 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.

See also

Appearances

Notes and references

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