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Radande (probably modern misspelling of Swedish compound word , a "feminine mythical creature" and ande, "spirit", or possibly a corruption of trädande, meaning tree spirit) are supposedly tree spirits in Swedish faerie mythology, similar to the dryads and hamadryads of Greek and Roman mythology.

The English word is either coming from a misspelling of dialect Swedish substantive rådande or råande (https://svenska.se/saob/?id=R_3543-0004.h6pv&pz=5), denoting a feminine mythical creature, or from a corruption of Swedish trädande (plural trädandar), meaning tree spirit (see https://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trädande for the Swedish page). Benjamin Thorpe mentions the name rådande in connection with löfjerskor, a species of grove-folk; he translates rådande as elf. Hence radande in English has no clear linguistic basis, and one should refer to either or löfjerskor. In Swedish folklore, a is a being living either in the forest (skogsrå or in the water (sjörå). and råd-ande (with a hyphen) are attested in Jacob Mörk's political satire novel "Adalriks och Göthildas Äfventyr" published in Stockholm in 1742.

Moreover, the following description is not supported by Swedish folk tales, is a quote from the children's book cited below, and should be amended/replaced by Thorpe's description. "Like hamadryads, they are bound to the tree they were born to for as long as it is alive. Also known as tree folk, it is said that they can take on a humanoid shape and venture a short way from their trees. In extreme cases they can even uproot the entire tree and use the roots as a shuffling locomotive. In their humanoid form they are often described as resembling their tree in clothing and facial features. Radandar are likely to grow at the centre of a fairy ring, to inhabit a lone tree on a hillside or the oldest tree in a grove, to grow beside a welling spring or to be one of two intertwined trees. They die if cut down but some believe that they linger on as spirits to haunt those who caused their demise. Trees have been believed to have magical properties or living spirits in nearly all cultures due to the ancient magic and mystery surrounding their life-span, strength and medicinal properties."


  • Melville, Francis (2002). Arthur Spiderwicks field guide to the fantastical world around you. Hauppage, N.Y.: Barron's. ISBN 0-7641-5457-5.
  • Mörk, Jacob-Henrik (1742). Adalriks och Göthildas Äfventyr. Stockholm.
  • Thorpe, Benjamin (1851). Northern Mythology, Comprising the Principle Popular Traditions and Superstitions of Scandinavia, North Germany, and the Netherlands. Vol.2 Scandinavian popular traditions and superstitions. London: Edward Lumley.