Circaea lutetiana  L. - Enchanter's Nightshade


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Circaea lutetiana - (image 1 of 5)



Family: Onagraceae


Moist, shaded woods. Increases with disturbance.


Acer saccharum, Arisaema triphyllum, Fraxinus americana, Geranium maculatum, Ostrya virginiana, Parthenocissus quinquefolia, Prunus serotina, Quercus alba, Quercus rubra, Smilacina racemosa, Tilia americana, Ulmus rubra, Viola pubescens. In disturbed area associates include Allium canadense, Geum canadense, Osmorhiza claytonii, Phryma leptostachya, Polygonum virginianum, Sanicula gregaria.


Interruptedly circumboreal; south in North America from Nova Scotia and southern Quebec to southern Manitoba, south to GA, LA, and OK.


Herbaceous perennial to 0.7-1.0 m. Leaves opposite, ovate, toothed, decreasing in size higher on the stem; pairs of leaves tend to orient perpendicular to adjacent pairs. Flowers in long terminal racemes; petals 2, deeply cleft to give the appearance of 4 petals. Seed round, oblong, covered in bristles that adhere to fur or clothing, and thus disseminated by animals.  


Flowers June and July

Wetland indicator: Upland

Somewhat inconspicuous except in fall when the seeds make themselves quite apparent to passer-bys.


Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second Ed.
The New York Botanical Garden. Bronx, NY


Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region.
Indiana Academy of Science. The Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.




 Michael Hough 2004