Enchanter's Nightshade

Circaea alpina

Stems erect, with numerous leaves. Leaves opposite, with winged petioles, 1–2 1/2 in. long, heart-shaped with pointed tips, slightly toothed, with short hairs on underside. Flower stalk erect, leafless, densely coated with glands and hairs, cluster of 8–12 flowers at top. Flowers tiny, white, with 2 reflexed sepals, 2 upright deeply notched petals. Grows in damp soils along streams, in forests and other cool places, at low to mid-elevations. Although the species name is alpina this plant is not found in alpine habitat.
enchanter's nightshade  Circaea alpina,Enchanter's Nightshade,Geotagged,Spring,United States


General: Herbaceous, juicy perennial from slender rhizomes, the stem 1-4 dm. tall, simple to freely-branched, clear green, glabrous below, with short, soft hairs above and in the inflorescence.
Leaves: Leaves opposite, petiolate, the blades ovate to cordate-ovate, acuminate, entire or with widely-spaced, small teeth, 2-6 cm. long, with fine, appressed hairs, especially on the underside..
Flowers: Inflorescence of axillary racemes, often with 1 or 2 linear bracts at the base; pedicels spreading to erect in flower, becoming reflexed and equaling the fruit; calyx tube very short, 2-lobed, the lobes reflexed; petals 2, white, notched, 1-1.5 mm. long; ovary inferior, 2-celled; stamens 2.
Fruits: Capsule 2-celled, top-shaped, 2 mm. long, covered with short, hooked hairs.
Enchanter's Nightshade  Circaea alpina,Enchanter's Nightshade,Geotagged,Spring,United States


Both sides of the Cascades in Washington; Alaska to Newfoundland, south (mostly in the mountains) to California and Georgia.
Enchanter's nightshade  Circaea alpina,Enchanter's Nightshade,Geotagged,Spring,United States


Cool, damp woods, low to mid-elevations in the mountains.


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SpeciesCircaea alpina