The Bubotuber was a magical plant that like a potato, grew as a tuber. The part that grew outside the ground resembled a thick large black slug.

The Definitive Glossary for Harry Potter

Bubotuber was an important magical plant with a lot of valuable properties. It was grown in the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry Greenhouses. It had shiny protrusions on its visible part that resembled a thick slug and when squeezed tightly would render a yellowish-green liquid that was known as Bubotuber pus. This liquid smelled very similar to petrol and was also identical to look at, especially the texture. Furthermore, another interesting quality of the Bubotuber was that the part that grew above the surface of the ground had a slimy exterior, large shiny swellings and would sometimes squirm on its own as an animal would. Despite having a large thick black slug-like tuber, its leaves were green just like most plants. It was believed to be specifically grown only in Hogwarts as not much is known about this plant outside of its few appearances in the Harry Potter book series. 


The term Bubotuber is derived from two English words although their root words may have a foreign origin. “Bubo” is a reference to the swelling of the lymph nodes in humans that occurs during infections like tuberculosis and syphilis. The bubonic plague is also eponymously named this large blister that is formed during this disease. “Tuber” refers to the nature of this plant, and like the potato, Bubotuber is a plant with a thick fleshy stem carrying a lot of the stored starch-like compound in the form of yellow-green pus, and is classified into a tuber. 


The essential function of the Bubotuber was to treat ailments like severe acne and pimples. However, it is believed that Bubotuber pus was very dangerous to the skin and other body parts when used undiluted or without proper care. Raw pus taken directly from the Bubotuber was said to cause painful boils on the skin when touched. Furthermore, to be used as a cure for acne, Bubotuber pus was subjected to a lot of dilution, mixing with other concoctions and processing and only then was it fit to be used as treatment. It was usually used as a topical treatment for the more stubborn forms of acne. When handling it, one was advised to use dragon-hide gloves to prevent hurting their fingers and hands.

Bubotuber was also used in several potions including the Healing Portion, which would immediately rejuvenate its drinker from tiredness or ill health. Bubotuber pus was also used to make several fake protective potions which were all the rage when Voldemort started gaining control. However, it was found out that most of these potions were fake and couldn’t protect anyone from Dark Magic. They were just mixtures containing ingredients like Bubotuber pus and gravy.

Bubotubers served as food for some beings like the forest trolls. These trolls were huge and had pale-green skin. Furthermore, they sometimes had green or brown hair.


The origin of the plant is not known. However, it is believed to be endemic to the Scottish Highlands, specifically the Forbidden Forest where forest trolls are known to feast on them. However, in the Harry Potter series, Bubotuber was mostly known only as a plant grown in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, especially in its greenhouse. At first glance, the appearance of the plant resembled that of a giant slug.

Appearances in the Harry Potter Series

Bubotubers first appeared in the Harry Potter series when Professor Pomona Sprout introduced them to the fourth-year students during Herbology classes. She explained to Seamus Finnigan that they had to collect the pus from the Bubotubers and put them in the bottles kept in front of them. She also warned the class to wear dragonhide gloves while doing so to prevent getting harmed in the process. She claimed that Bubotuber pus did funny things to the skin when it was touched in its undiluted form. It had the smell of gasoline. Bubotubers were also discussed in detail in the textbook One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi. 

When Hermione is accused of playing with the feelings of Harry and Viktor Krum in one of Rita Skeeter’s articles in the Witch Weekly magazine, several readers send hate-mail to Hermione including several Howlers and angry letters claiming that Hermione should just leave the boys alone. Amidst these letters, one arrives with a strange effect. When Hermione opens it, raw Bubotuber pus spurts on her and she is injured. She then runs off to the Hospital Wing in tears. As discussed before, raw Bubotuber pus can be harmful to the skin when one comes in contact with it without wearing suitable equipment made preferably from dragonhide. However, it is eventually proven that Hermione never did any of the things that Rita Skeeter’s article mentioned. 

The Wizarding Equivalent Of A Potato

The Bubotuber is in many ways, the wizarding equivalent of a potato. Bubotuber is one of the most popular tuberous plants in the world of magic, just like the potato is among muggles. Furthermore, despite Bubotuber containing pus, which the potato doesn’t, their insides are both used in skin treatments in the wizarding world and the muggle world respectively. Also, Bubotuber is food to some beasts including Forest Trolls. Potatoes are food for humans and several other animals. The biggest difference between potatoes and Bubotubers is that while potatoes contain mild starchy content in them, Bubotubers which look like thick black slugs mostly contain the pus that has unpleasant effects when touched directly despite being an excellent cure for several skin treatments.


What is Bubotuber pus used for?

Bubotuber pus is used in potions and medicines that cure a wide variety of ailments. It was a primary ingredient in most topical treatments for acne and pimples. Despite being highly reactive and causing boils and blisters when touched directly, it is believed that Bubotuber pus is usually diluted or mixed with other compounds when used as an ingredient in skin treatments. Bubotuber pus also came into scrutiny when it was used in fake protection potions which claimed to save the people who drank it from Dark magic and Dark Wizards like Lord Voldemort and other Death Eaters.

What does Bubotuber pus smell and look like?

Bubotuber pus looks yellowish green in colour and looks thick and slimy, since it is a form of pus. It is believed to smell like petrol or gasoline and has a strange effect when touched without protective equipment. Handlers of Bubotuber pus are usually asked to use dragonhide gloves before touching it. Bubotubers themselves looked like thick black slugs and containing protrusions which when squeezed released this pus.

Who sent Hermione the Bubotuber pus?

Hermione was villainized in an article written by Rita Skeeter for the Witch Weekly magazine. In that article, she claimed that Hermione was playing with the feelings of Harry Potter and Viktor Krum by courting them both at the same time. This enraged the readers of the magazine and they started sending her hate-mail in the form of angry letters and Howlers. Among these letters, there was one that was sent by an anonymous source and when Hermione opened it, it contained Bubotuber pus which burnt her skin. She then ran to the Hospital Wing crying but was eventually cured of this both physically and emotionally.

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