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This article focuses on the plant.
For the meadow full of middlemists, see Middlemist Field.
Middlemist flowers. So beautiful.
Guinevere to King Arthur src

Middlemists are a plant species featured on ABC's Once Upon a Time. It first appears in the fourth episode of the fifth season.


Before First Curse

Nimue lives in the village of Oxleigh, where middlemist flowers are known to grow. When Vortigan storms the village in search of the Holy Grail, Nimue escapes unscathed, taking middlemist flower seeds with her, while all the villagers are slaughtered by Vortigan. She seeks out the sorcerer Merlin in his village, hoping he can help her get revenge. However, her revenge is to plant the seeds of the middlemist flowers, to which Merlin helps her with this, by using magic to make the flowers bloom. ("Nimue")

Merlin and Nimue fall fall in love, and after they have been together for some time, the village is full of Camelot flowers. One day, Nimue comes over carrying a basket full of middlemists, and finds Merlin looking at the village flowers with a sad face. She jokingly asks if he's trying to frown them into growing. Merlin tells her about how he obtained both magic and immortality from drinking the Holy Grail, and thus, this would force him to remain forever young, while Nimue will age and eventually die. He tells her that there is a method to cut away his immortality so they can live normal lives together. He then picks the leaves off of a middlemost stem, fashioning it into a ring. He then places it onto his Nimue's finger and uses his magic to turn it to gold. ("Nimue")

As a child, Guinevere lives in the village of Camelot with Arthur, who has dreams of becoming king. He wishes to make her his queen, and he promises for her birthdays, he'll fill the kingdom with middlemists for her. To prove a point, Arthur gives her a middlemist flower, which she is pleased at. He then leads her to show her a meadow of middlemists, but he stops shortly when intercepted by a boy named Kay. ("The Broken Kingdom")

During his reign, Arthur becomes consumed with finding the Excalibur's missing half, the Dark One's dagger, so much that he begins neglecting his wife. On her birthday, she tries to coax him into leaving his research to dance with her. As she waits for him, a villager announces that Arthur has a gift for Guinevere, before showering her with a flurry of pink middlemist petals. She is pleased, but then, she realizes Arthur hadn't prepared anything, and Lancelot was the one who did it. She thanks him, shortly before Arthur rushes to them, exclaiming that he discovered the dagger is only a day's ride away. Guinevere eventually asks Arthur to make a choice between his quest or his marriage or she'll follow her heart. Believing she'll go to Lancelot, Arthur throws the Sands of Avalon on her, causing Guinevere to begin supporting his endeavors, much to his relief. She sees she is now holding a bouquet of middlemist flowers, and comments on how beautiful they are. ("The Broken Kingdom")

Before Third Curse

During her time in Camelot, Emma is overwhelmed by seeing an apparition of the darkness, so Hook takes her horseback riding as a distraction. They ride onto a field full of middlemists, which, at first sight, is sparse. To help her forget about the darkness, Hook gives her a middlemist flower. Emma focuses on the flower, closing her eyes, and when she opens her eyes, she is surprised by the sight of the whole field blooming with middlemists. Relieved that she can no longer see the darkness, she happily shares a passionate kiss with Hook. ("The Broken Kingdom")

Unwilling to lose Hook to his Excalibur wound, Emma whisks him away to the middlemist field, where he attempts to convince her to let him go, rather than use Excalibur to make him immortal like her. Emma, however, cannot see past a future without him. After Hook seemingly dies of his injury, a heartbroken Emma harnesses Excalibur to tether his life to the sword, making him a Dark One. ("Birth")

Emma returns to the middlemist field to look for Hook, but he is not there. She uses the last alternative, summoning him with Excalibur, to get Hook to come back. ("Broken Heart")

After Third Curse

As Emma stands before Mr. Gold, who is a prisoner in her home, she is holding a middlemist. She caresses the flower as Gold desperately tries to convince her to let him go, but Emma is completely unmoved by his pleas. ("The Broken Kingdom")

Zelena uses a dreamcatcher to let Hook see his lost memories. Within it, Hook sees himself at the middlemist field dying of a fatal wound he got from Excalibur, before Emma turns him into a Dark One to save his life. ("Broken Heart")


On-Screen Notes

Production Notes

  • After filming outdoors for the episode "Nimue", Sarah McCulloch, the show's greensperson, gave away the middlemist roses to cast, crew, and fans who visited the set.[3]
  • For the meadow scene with Hook and Emma in the episode "Birth", the set was a tiny, round meadow set filled with flowers, surrounded by blue-screen material.[4] It was CGIed into a big flowery meadow in post-production. For the episode "Broken Heart", the middlemist field set was surrounded by natural grassy ground rather than blu-screen material.[5]



  1. File:507Title.png
  2. Kennedy, Maev (March 9, 2018). World's rarest camellia in full bloom. The Guardian. “The Middlemist's Red camellia has been flowering for more than two centuries within a couple of miles of its first home outside China. There are believed to be only two left in the world – the one lighting up the Duke of Devonshire's conservatory at Chiswick, west London, and another in Waitangi, New Zealand. The plant was collected in China in 1804 by John Middlemist, from Shepherd's Bush, west London, who gave it to Kew Gardens.”
  3. TwitterLogo @leafladygreens (Sarah McCulloch) on Twitter (October 19, 2015). "after we shot Jmo & Colin's luv KISS, I gave away all the Roses 2 cast, crew,fans" (screenshot)
    TwitterLogo @BeaJesus_ (Beatriz Oliveira) on Twitter (September 25, 2015). "Having a grat [sic] time at @OnceABC set yesterday. Thanks for the flowers, lovely @leafladygreens 🌷🌷🌷" (screenshot)
  4. TwitterLogo @Ness202210 (Vanessa) on Twitter (October 19, 2015). "@leafladygreens hard at work on #OUAT 4 a #CaptainSwan scene with @colinodonoghue1 @jenmorrisonlive I want your work" (screenshot)
    InstagramIcon vfxsup (Craig Clarke). November 21, 2015.  "#OnceUponATime" (archive copy)
  5. File:IGhelgaungurait-MiddlemistField.png

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