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Circaea lutetiana

Circaea lutetiana L.

 

Enchanter’s Nightshade

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassRosidaeRoses, legumes, proteas, dogwoods, hydrangeas, mistletoes, euphorbias, grapes, many more
OrderMyrtalesIncludes myrtles, leadwoods, loosestrifes, pomegranates, evening primroses, many others
FamilyOnagraceaeWillowherb/evening primrose family
GenusCircaeaNamed for Circe, an enchantress in Greek mythology who used C. lutetiana in her magic
Specieslutetiana“Of Paris”

About plant names...

My dog discovered enchanter’s nightshade for the first time when about a hundred of the tiny, velcro-covered fruits hitched a ride on her soft fur. It is native to North America, and favors moist, rich woods.

Enchanter’s nightshade is a member of the evening prim­rose family. The enchantress Circe, according to Greek mythology, used this plant in her magic, hence its common name, as well as its genus name. In fact, though, en­chan­ter’s nightshade is not known to have any interesting properties, either medicinal or magical. And it is an Ameri­can plant, while Circe’s role in The Odyssey brought her nowhere near America. Perhaps someone confused enchan­ter’s nightshade with the unrelated and very poisonous bittersweet nightshade, or with the equally poisonous deadly nightshade.

Plants: 12-24" (30-60 cm) high.

Leaves: Hairless, opposite, roughly oval, wider toward the bottom and sometimes heart-shaped (ovate-cordate), with small teeth along the margins (dentate). They are up to 5" (12 cm) × 3" (7.6 cm) in size.

Flowers: Tiny white to pinkish flowers ⅛-¼" (3.2-6.3 mm) in size appear sparsely along spikes up to 6" (15 cm) long. The flowers/burs are on short petioles about ⅛" (3.2 mm) long, alternate, and angled back along the stem, a unique identifying characteristic.

Fruits: Fuzzy teardrop-shaped two-chambered capsule, covered with hooked hairs. Fruits are ¹/₁₆-⅛" (2.8-4.5 mm) in size.

Online References:

Circaea lutetiana at Illinois Wildflowers

Circaea lutetiana on Discover Life

Circaea lutetiana at the University of Wisconsin's Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium

Circaea lutetiana on Wikipedia

Circaea lutetiana on www.online-utility.org

Circaea lutetiana on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants

Circaea lutetiana on Wikimedia Commons

Circaea lutetiana at Minnesota Wildflowers

Circaea lutetiana (Enchanter’s Nightshade)

7/5/2012 · Groton Place and Sabine Woods, Groton, MA
≈ 4½ × 5" (11 × 13 cm) ID is uncertain

Circaea lutetiana (Enchanter’s Nightshade)

7/5/2012 · Groton Place and Sabine Woods, Groton, MA
≈ 9 × 6" (22 × 14 cm) ID is uncertain

Circaea lutetiana (Enchanter’s Nightshade)

8/6/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 14 × 9" (35 × 23 cm)

Circaea lutetiana (Enchanter’s Nightshade)

8/6/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm)

Circaea lutetiana (Enchanter’s Nightshade)

7/17/2010 · Stan and Connie’s, Falmouth, ME
≈ 15 × 10" (39 × 26 cm)

Circaea lutetiana description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 31 Jul 2019.

© FloraFinder.org. All rights reserved.


 

Circaea lutetiana (Enchanter’s Nightshade)

7/17/2010 · Stan and Connie’s, Falmouth, ME
≈ 4 × 6" (10 × 15 cm)

Circaea lutetiana (Enchanter’s Nightshade)

8/23/2013 · Andres Institute of Art, Brookline, NH
≈ 8 × 6" (20 × 14 cm)

Circaea lutetiana (Enchanter’s Nightshade)

8/2/2012 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Ayer, MA
≈ 8 × 5" (19 × 13 cm)

Circaea lutetiana (Enchanter’s Nightshade)

7/17/2010 · Stan and Connie’s, Falmouth, ME
≈ 3 × 4½" (7.9 × 11 cm)

Circaea lutetiana (Enchanter’s Nightshade)

7/17/2010 · Stan and Connie’s, Falmouth, ME
≈ 3 × 4½" (7.9 × 11 cm)

Circaea lutetiana (Enchanter’s Nightshade)

8/2/2012 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Ayer, MA
≈ 9 × 6" (23 × 15 cm)

Circaea lutetiana (Enchanter’s Nightshade)

8/2/2012 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Ayer, MA
≈ 11 × 7" (27 × 18 cm)

Circaea lutetiana (Enchanter’s Nightshade)

8/2/2012 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Ayer, MA
≈ 11 × 7" (27 × 18 cm)

Range:

About this map...